Interpretive Services

The University of West Florida’s Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) wants to help ensure that your educational experience at the University is a quality one. SDRC staff will work with you to provide appropriate academic accommodations.

Graphic of the american sign language alphabet.

We view our relationship with you as a partnership. As a partner, you have specific responsibilities as well. It is imperative that you adhere to the following procedures to ensure the timeliness and quality of services.

Interpreting service requests must be made to the Student Disability Resource Center, not the individual interpreters or agencies. The following are procedures for using sign language interpreting services.


  • Classroom Interpreters: The Classroom Semester Accommodation Request Form must be submitted for interpreting services for scheduled classes. This request must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the start of each semester. Late requests will be filled as soon as possible, but you should be aware that at times sign-language interpreters can be difficult to secure.
  • Campus Event Interpreters: The Campus Event Interpreter Request Form must be submitted for interpreting services for campus events or academic related activities. These requests must be submitted 72 hours (3 business days) in advance. The Campus Event Interpreter Request Form can be accessed via your MyUWF account.
  • Notify SDRC if there are changes to your schedule during the semester.
  • Notify SDRC of any problems, concerns, or needs with interpreting services. We will work with you to resolve the issue.
  • Provide your interpreters with the course syllabi and other hand-outs received in class.
  • Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to meet your interpreter on the first day of class.
  • You and your interpreter should agree on technical or specialized sign vocabulary. If you have specific style or sign preferences, communicate your preferences to the interpreter.
  • Introduce yourself to the faculty member and explain that you are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • You must be on time. The interpreter will wait outside the classroom until you arrive. The interpreter will wait 10 minutes for a one hour class; 15 minutes for a two or more hour class.
  • If the interpreter does not show up:
    • Notify the SDRC office as soon as possible. Allow 15 minutes for the interpreter to show up before contacting SDRC. If after business hours, notify SDRC the following morning.
    • If the interpreter is late more than twice, notify the SDRC by email as soon as possible.


  • Do not coordinate your own interpreting services. If you do, SDRC will not be responsible for the cost of that service. All interpreting services must be coordinated by SDRC.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to notify SDRC about your absence or class cancellations.
    • You must inform the SDRC staff at least 24 hours in advance if you are unable to attend class.
    • You must notify SDRC as soon as you have been informed that your class has been cancelled. SDRC must pay interpreters for all assignments canceled with less than 24 hour notice.

To access the Classroom Semester Accommodation Request Form, login to MyUWF and search for "SDRC Accommodate". This link will take you to the SDRC Accommodate Student Portal, through which you can access the Classroom Semester Accommodation Request Form. Search for "SDRC Forms" in MyUWF to access the Campus Event Interpreter Request Form and other SDRC forms.

Note: Missing classes without notifying the Student Disability Resource Center constitutes a financial burden to the University. This will result in suspension of your interpreting services. Students who accumulate three (3) or more non-emergency no-shows during a given semester will have services suspended for all classes (pending a meeting with the Director to discuss circumstances surrounding the absences.) At this meeting, extenuating circumstances and individual issues will be discussed. Final determination for suspension of services and/or reinstatement will be made solely by the Director. Failure to meet and discuss the absences with the Director will result in an immediate suspension of services.

Role of the Interpreter

Interpreters are required to follow the UWF Code of Ethics. They must interpret classroom lectures and activities accurately and without bias. They are not permitted to tutor, express personal opinion or participate in the class in any way. They are not required to interpret non-class-related conversations. If you do not understand the course content, it is your responsibility to get clarification from your instructor. The Interpreter is only allowed to interpret your questions concerning exams, quizzes or assignments to the faculty member.

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