Faculty/Staff Instructors

Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) is the designated program in the district that provides communication access accommodations for students with disabilities. These services are provided when students request accommodation through their campus DSPS office at which the class or activity is located. If communication access accommodations are needed for other student activities that are part of the college or continuing education, but not related to state supported academic requirements, such as campus-wide forums, program specific activities, career development or vocational programs, the services may be provided through ISO depending on available resources. If ISO is unable to provide services, they should be funded by the respective department in the San Diego Community College District using resources other than DSPS. Learn more or request services.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these services, please contact ISO or the DSPS counselor at your college or continuing education: City College, Mesa College, Miramar College, College of Continuing Education.


Important Information for Instructors

  • While the students are responsible for informing the ISO about any changes in their schedules, instructors' assistance with communicating to the ISO about scheduled exams and/or no lecture dates will be greatly appreciated. For example, we can schedule one instead of two interpreters on the exam date, which will help us with the efficient use of our resources.
  • The ISO may not have the resources to provide communications access accommodations for all public events. Contact your campus DSPS counselor to discuss how to provide accommodations such as alternative assignments.
  • If you are meeting with the student outside of class time, the student can request, in advance, to have additional services. A minimum of three (3) days notice is required.
  • The service provider(s) will typically sit in the front of the classroom so that the deaf/hard-of-hearing students can see the instructor, the board, and the service provider(s).
  • When communicating with deaf/hard-of-hearing students, look at and speak directly to the student as you would a hearing person. For instance, instead of saying to the interpreter, "Tell her she did well on the exam," say "Ann, you did well on the exam."
  • During a lecture or discussion, the service provider is often a sentence or two behind the speaker. Therefore deaf/hard-of-hearing students cannot respond immediately after the speaker has finished. It is important to allow for this lag time so that deaf/hard-of-hearing students can fully participate in the discussion.
  • The service provider(s) may voice (speak) for the deaf/hard-of-hearing student when they sign/type a question or comments during class. Some students may choose to speak for themselves.
  • Lecture notes, Blackboard, handouts, technical vocabulary lists and/or textbooks that can be made available to the service provider(s) would be helpful.
  • During slide presentations, please work with the service provider(s) to arrange appropriate lighting so that the student can still see the service provider(s).
  • The service provider(s) will wait 20 minutes for the student to arrive. If the student does not arrive by that time, the service provider will leave. When the student is in attendance, the service provider(s) stays during the scheduled time and may not stay after the class. 
  • Communication access accommodations may be suspended if a student does not notify the ISO office of an absence 2 times with at least 24 hours notice.
  • In case of a service provider(s) absence, the student has several backup options:
    • DSPS recommends that every student in a lecture class obtain a volunteer student note taker as soon as the semester starts. This volunteer note taker can be provided with with NCR (non-carbon copy paper) paper from DSPS.  It is often helpful for the student if the instructor can recommend a good note taker.
    • Lectures can be recorded and later transcribed. DSPS will loan recorders to students.



  • Sign language interpreters are trained professionals who facilitate communication between deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing individuals. Types of interpreting services that may be provided:
    • American Sign Language is a visual-gestural language with its own linguistic features.
    • Tactile interpretation may be needed for students who also have a visual limitation. The student will touch the interpreter's hands for comprehension.
    • Deaf interpreters may be needed when the communication mode of the student is so unique that it cannot be adequately accessed by interpreters who are hearing. Deaf interpreters may work as a team member with a hearing interpreter.
  • Interpreters may also voice for the deaf/hard-of-hearing students. Interpreters do not advise, tutor, or offer personal opinions. They can answer questions to help everyone navigate the interpreted situations.
  • To reduce work-related injuries and fatigue, we send break or team interpreters to most classes.
    • Break Interpreters will enter and exit your class as unobtrusively as possible and relieve the regular interpreter for ten minutes or so.
    • Team Interpreters are two interpreters assigned to the same class for the entire period. The interpreters relieve each other in 20-30 minute shifts, and provide back-up assistance to each other during the interpreting process. Taking breaks will be necessary when one of the team is not available. You can help by planning some strategic breaks so that the interpreter maintains effectiveness and precautions to avoid injury.
  • Occasionally we experience a shortage of sign language interpreters. In the event sign language interpreters are not available for your class, real-time captioning services may be arranged as an alternative either temporarily or as a permanent semester-long solution.


Speech-to-Text Services

  • The speech-to-text service provider would transcribe the lecture and the student reads a record of this on a laptop computer. An electronic transcript will be provided to the student after class. The student agrees to use the transcripts solely for their personal academic use and may not share them with any other students. The speech-to-text service provider may sit next to the student to allow the student to read the monitor, usually off to one side where there is an electrical outlet. The front of the classroom is often an optimal location.
  • If the student arrives late, the speech-to-text service provider will not begin transcribing until the student arrives.


Field Trips for Classes

At least 2 weeks' advance notice is required for requesting additional communications access accommodations for college sanctioned field trips or class activities outside of the classroom time. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with their DSPS counselors in a timely manner so the request can be authorized and then sent to the ISO. Please announce field trips planned for the semester during the first week of class.


Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students' Access to Instructional Materials and Videos

Federal and State laws, including Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 of 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and SB 105 and AB 386 regulations, require that instructional materials, including printed, non-printed, and computer-based information, are accessible. If you are showing videos or DVDs in your class, keeping them on reserve at the library or resource center, or if your text book(s) includes DVD, CD, video, video clip on Internet, etc., please check to see if they are captioned. Open or closed captioning is fine.

Please check the equipment in your classroom. The television's closed-captioned option must be turned on. If you require assistance, please contact the AV department before the day you are scheduled to show the video. If your classroom television does not have a captioning option, the AV department can install a decoding device.

Generally, if the videos/DVD are not captioned, you cannot show them in class even when you have communication access accommodations available. You are strongly advised not to use text books with companion electronic materials if such materials are not accessible. Please contact the DSPS counselor on your campus if you have questions or need clarification.

Thank you for your attention to this critical regulation. We look forward to working with you this semester. If at any time you have questions or comments regarding interpreting services, please email iso@sdccd.edu. If you have questions regarding your students, please email your campus DSPS counselor.

Download our Sign Language Interpreting Services brochure for more information.

Interpreting Services Office | iso@sdccd.edu 
Daniel Nakaji, Supervisor | dnakaji@sdccd.edu | (619) 550-3389 (videophone or voice)