Sign Language Interpreter Use Policies & Procedures

Interpreting services are provided to students at all Madison College campuses. Our office is located at the Truax campus in the Student Development Center, Room D1618.

Request Interpreters

Questions can be directed to Jana Mauldin, Senior Interpretation Advisor and Coordinator. Text: (608) 219-6598 | Email: 
Telephone: (608) 246-6352 | VP: (608) 234-4279 Or Scott Ritter, Director of Disability Resource Services (608) 246-6791 |


You must complete the following two steps each semester in order to receive services:

  1. Meet with your Disability Resource Services specialist. Prior to your first semester, the meeting must be in person; for future semesters, the meeting may be in person, or via phone or email.
  2. Notify the interpreter coordinator when you have registered for classes. Then we can start scheduling interpreters for your classes.

It is recommended that you register at least four weeks before the start of a semester. Students registering later than that may not receive interpreting services. Madison College will attempt to cover such classes, but due to the shortage of available interpreters, these requests may not be filled. Scheduling for interpreting services is on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you have concerns about interpreters, DRS policies/procedures or DRS staff members, first discuss your concern directly with the person involved.

If you feel the issue is still not resolved to your satisfaction, please contact Disability Resource Services Director Scott Ritter at (608) 246-6791.

If you continue to feel your issue has not been resolved after talking to the DRS manager, you may follow the procedures for conflict management set forth by Madison College.


Communication with Interpreter Coordinator

It is your responsibility to schedule interpreters as needed. You must inform the interpreter coordinator when any of the following happens:

  • Class cancelled by instructor
  • Room number changed
  • Start or end time of class changed
  • Field trips scheduled

Informing the interpreter coordinator will ensure continued services and the ability to provide accurate information to substitute interpreters, when necessary.

Staff Interpreters vs. Contract Interpreters

Staff interpreters will be used first to cover classes. Freelance interpreters will be used to cover additional hours, if necessary.

Missing the First Day of Class

If you miss the first day of class, you must contact the interpreter coordinator. No interpreter will attend class until the interpreter coordinator is contacted and the issue is resolved.


Deaf/hard of hearing students typically remain in the classroom for their exams. The DRS specialist must approve any accommodations, dependent on the individual’s disability. The standard policy for Madison College (in the classroom or Testing Center) is as follows:

Directions for the exam and communication between the student and instructor or test proctor (i.e. asking the instructor or proctor for clarification of a question) may be interpreted. Any interpreting of an exam beyond that must be discussed and agreed to by the instructor and DRS Specialist prior to the exam.

 Instructors and interpreters are aware of this policy.

Planned Absences

If you plan to miss a class, you must tell the interpreter coordinator:

  • Your name
  • The class name
  • The date you will be absent

The interpreter coordinator will then contact your interpreter. It is appreciated if you tell the interpreter coordinator about absences as early as possible.

You do not need to give a reason for your absence. Calling your interpreter directly without contacting the D/hh specialist will be counted as a no-show. Students who miss at least 25% of class hours during a semester, including both planned absences and no-shows, may have their interpreting services suspended.

Interpreter Wait Time

The interpreter will wait 15 minutes at your classroom. After that, you will be considered a no-show and the interpreter will leave. If you show up late, you can still choose to stay for class without an interpreter. Your instructor has his/her own attendance policy that you must follow, as well.


If an interpreter attends class but the student does not arrive after 15 minutes and does not inform the interpreter coordinator in advance, this is considered an unreported no-show.

After two unreported no-shows for the same class, interpreting services will be suspended for that class.

Interpreter Services Suspension

If interpreting services are suspended because of no-shows, you must arrange a meeting with your DRS specialist to discuss the issue and determine whether interpreting services will be reinstated.

Dropped Classes

If you decide to drop a class, you must inform the interpreter coordinator. You do not need to give a reason for dropping a class, but frequent or habitual dropping of classes may jeopardize Madison College's ability to provide services and accommodations to students.

Interpreter Requests for Meetings, Extracurricular Activities and Other Functions

Madison College provides interpreters for functions or meetings outside of class time. You must request an interpreter through the interpreter coordinator at least two days ahead of time. We will try to honor requests with less notice, but may not be able to find an interpreter.

Code of Conduct

Any interpreter working for Madison College, staff or freelance, is expected to follow the Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) established by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the National Association of the Deaf. However, this does not prevent interpreters from informing the D/hh specialist of classroom accommodation issues. Issues that will be discussed include but are not limited to:

  • Student no-shows
  • Communication problems
  • Difficulty meeting student needs
  • Any issue the interpreter is unable to resolve with the student