Guide for Educational Sign Language Interpreters

Sign Language Interpreters and C-Print Operators will find the following information to be a valuable reference and guide for interpreting/captioning at Tidewater Community College [TCC].


  • All interpreters/captionist shall abide by RID's Interpreter's Code of Ethics, as well as comply with all TCC procedures and policies.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall keep all assignment-related information strictly confidential.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall render the message faithfully, always conveying the content and spirit of the speaker using language most easily understood by the person whom they serve.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall not counsel, advise or interject personal opinions.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall accept assignments using discretion with regard to skill, setting and the consumer involved.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall request compensation for services in a professional and judicious manner.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall function in a manner appropriate to the situation.
  • Interpreters/transliterators shall strive to further their knowledge and skills through participation in workshops, professional meetings, interaction with professional colleagues and reading of current literature in the field.
  • Interpreters/transliterators by virtue of membership in or certification by RID, Inc., shall strive to maintain high professional standards in compliance with the Code of Ethics.
  • All interpreters at TCC shall wear solid contrasting colors to their skin in order to provide a contrasting background for their hands while interpreting.

Interpreter/C-Print Services

  • Interpreters at TCC must complete Wage Classified Time and Attendance Forms in order for their pay to be processed. You will receive a Part-Time Payroll Schedule, which informs you of the dates the above forms are due.
  • When requesting text material interpreters are required to fill out Interpreter Book Loan Forms and return them to the Interpreter Specialist. Please allow 2-3 weeks for request to be filled.
  • When a student requests additional services directly related to class assignments or academically relevant program activities, he/she is responsible for filling out Interpreter Request Forms before interpreting services are provided.
  • When a student is late, interpreters shall wait 15 minutes for a 50-60 minute class and 30 minutes for a 1 to 3 hour class, unless instructed otherwise.
  • If an interpreter cannot work a scheduled class, he/she should notify the Interpreter Specialist by filling out an Interpreter Substitute Form as soon as possible.
  • If an interpreter has to be absent because of an emergency, call the Interpreter Specialist at (757) 822-1260 or contact the Office of Educational Accessibility.
  • When a student formally withdraws from a class or the college, TCC is not obligated for further interpreter services; however, TCC will attempt to use skills and expertise in alternate situations.
  • If a student or instructor gives an interpreter at least a 24-hour notice that interpreting services are not needed, there will be no charges. In most instances cancellations will be announced 48 hours in advance.
  • Charges for services will not be placed when the college is closed because of inclement weather.

Classroom Policy

  • Interpreters working at TCC have an obligation not only to the student, but to the instructor as well. It is normal to talk with the instructor before or after a class regarding classroom logistics, cultural differences and material to be covered. However, it is not appropriate to discuss the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing student with the instructor.
  • Interpreters should not take it upon themselves to interpret any or all questions on a test or quiz. If the student has a question (even about the meaning of a word or phrase), the question should be directed to the instructor. The interpreter can then interpret the conversation.
  • Interpreters should remember that students at TCC are adults and are responsible for their behavior, classroom conduct, personal grievances, and personal needs.
  • Interpreters shall maintain a professional, respectful attitude toward students at all times. If a conflict arises between an interpreter and a student, the interpreter should first address his/her concerns with the student. If the issue is not resolved, the interpreter should bring his/her concerns to the Interpreter Specialist.

Professional Feedback

  • At the conclusion of each semester, students are given Interpreter Evaluation Forms. These forms are confidential and are used to provide professional feedback for TCC interpreters and the EA office. A summary of evaluations will be provided to the interpreter.
  • The Interpreter Specialist is always available for interpreter feedback so he/she can continue to enhance services to students, faculty, and staff.

Interpreter Contacts

Emergency Information

In the event of an emergency, please contact TCC Campus Security.