Classroom with an ASL Interpreter

JMU recommends requesting accommodations when planning an event. One such accommodation could be interpreters for hearing impaired participants. Providing interpreters meets JMU’s commitment to being an inclusive community. It is also JMU’s legal obligation once an accommodation request has been made.

Hiring or Contracting ASL Interpreters

Interpreters may be hired as a part time wage employee or as a contracted vendor.  JMU has established relationships of both types. 

Interpreters should be contacted and reserved at least three weeks in advance of the event. 

If the event is over two hours, two interpreters should be hired.

Hiring as a part time wage employee:

  • Interpreters should be hired as a part time wage employee of the department paying for their service and follow all protocol related to wage employees. Several interpreters are already established in the payroll system.
  • Hourly rates vary slightly but are generally in alignment with VDDHH state rates.  Travel and non-business hourly rate surcharges may also apply.
  • The hiring department should enter an ePar for the interpreter.  If varying hourly rates are required (see above), multiple ePars will need to be entered.
  • Obtain a signed timesheet before entering hours into JMU Time Entry system. The ePar designated supervisor should also be the approver/supervisor in the time entry system who will enter and approve the interpreter’s timesheet.
  • Effective date should be the day before the event.  End date is a maximum of six months after the event.

Contracting a vendor and paying by invoice:

  • JMU contracts with a few vendors to provide interpreters.  In this case the interpreter is an employee of the vendor.
  • After contacting the vendor, provide the proper contact information for submitting the invoice.
  • Follow JMU accounting procedures for payment of an invoice including procurement rules regarding one-time purchases in excess of $10,000.00.
  • Payment should be made within 30 days.

Teaming with an ASL interpreter at your event

  • Provide materials to be interpreted in advance e.g. transcripts, list of names, programs. Clarify any unique vocabulary such as acronyms and technical terms.
  • Provide the name and phone number of the event coordinator who will be attending the event.
  • Provide seating for the interpreter near the stage with a clear view of the speaker.
  • If lights are to be turned off or dimmed (e.g. for viewing overhead projections) be sure the interpreter is well lit.
  • Reserve seats (as appropriate) for the deaf individual where there is a clear view of both the speaker and the interpreter.  Make sure traffic in front of the interpreter is kept to a minimum.
  • Know that the interpreter will interpret all communication that occurs including all environmental sounds such as pagers, telephone conversations, etc.
  • Do not ask the interpreter to censor any portion of the conversation.
  • Provide the interpreter with a name tag if appropriate.
  • If a meal is offered at the event, a complimentary meal should be offered to the interpreter.
  • Know that interpreters maintain a professional code of ethics that obligate them to maintain confidentiality.

Current list of local ASL Interpreters and Vendors

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