Fighting School For Interpreter

WrenchWench

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I am a hard of hearing student in my last year of college. Throughout my elementary and high school years I struggled to keep up and relied on reading lips to communicate.

Last year I was made aware that there was a disabled student center on campus and that they offered assistance to Deaf and hard of hearing students. I signed up and was given a " smart pen and pad " for note taking but I continued to struggle through my classes and read lips.

I met up with a Deaf friend of mine over summer vacation and I was relieved by how easy communication was with him. I wasn't exhausted from lip reading all the time. I wasn't confused about what was going on.

We went to an convention together and when I was able to utilize an interpreter, I was so relived that I was finally able to understand everything around me.

I recently asked to be disabled student center on campus for an interpreter for the next semester and the interpreter coordinator made it clear that he does not believe that I deserve/need an interpreter.

He has not outright denied me but he does socially acceptable things like say that I have to go though a meeting with a counselor first ( even though I already have during my intake appointment and no other Deaf students have to) and has no sense of urgency when it come to booking the interpreter. When I very politely expressed concern for the timeline of which my request was handled, he said " you were approved for an interpreter last semester. Did you or did you not choose to decline one then?" when I asked for closed captioning on the in class videos, he said " you asked for an interpreter, too, so which one do you want ?" (As if I have to choose! ) Today, I went to ask for an interpreter for the remainder of my classes and he said " I don't think we can accommodate that. My boyfriend spoke up and said it was my legal right.

I am still in the process of fighting this, and will update you as I can. I am feeling very discouraged about the process but at the same time, I don't think that I should have to explain or justify my communication needs to anyone. I truly feel that fully hearing people make judgments about me because I can lip read and use my voice but I don't know how to change thier mindset.
 

DeafNerdMommy

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I am a hard of hearing student in my last year of college. Throughout my elementary and high school years I struggled to keep up and relied on reading lips to communicate.

Last year I was made aware that there was a disabled student center on campus and that they offered assistance to Deaf and hard of hearing students. I signed up and was given a " smart pen and pad " for note taking but I continued to struggle through my classes and read lips.

I met up with a Deaf friend of mine over summer vacation and I was relieved by how easy communication was with him. I wasn't exhausted from lip reading all the time. I wasn't confused about what was going on.

We went to an convention together and when I was able to utilize an interpreter, I was so relived that I was finally able to understand everything around me.

I recently asked to be disabled student center on campus for an interpreter for the next semester and the interpreter coordinator made it clear that he does not believe that I deserve/need an interpreter.

He has not outright denied me but he does socially acceptable things like say that I have to go though a meeting with a counselor first ( even though I already have during my intake appointment and no other Deaf students have to) and has no sense of urgency when it come to booking the interpreter. When I very politely expressed concern for the timeline of which my request was handled, he said " you were approved for an interpreter last semester. Did you or did you not choose to decline one then?" when I asked for closed captioning on the in class videos, he said " you asked for an interpreter, too, so which one do you want ?" (As if I have to choose! ) Today, I went to ask for an interpreter for the remainder of my classes and he said " I don't think we can accommodate that. My boyfriend spoke up and said it was my legal right.

I am still in the process of fighting this, and will update you as I can. I am feeling very discouraged about the process but at the same time, I don't think that I should have to explain or justify my communication needs to anyone. I truly feel that fully hearing people make judgments about me because I can lip read and use my voice but I don't know how to change thier mindset.
I don't have an advice because I am going through the same thing. I can speak and reply heavily on lip reading. I brought my audiogram to the disability office at my college. The lady asked me if I was serious and told me to leave there was nothing they can do for me. I am border line severe hoh with auditory processing disorder. I do use ha but my brain quits interpreting the words sometimes and I don't always notice. I feel like the disability office does care unless you are 100% deaf :(
 

WrenchWench

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I feel like the disability office does care unless you are 100% deaf :(

I could not agree more!
What is it that makes these hearing people think that they are able to judge our abilities?! I'm working with a Deaf advocate agency and hopefully, I will be able to get the services I need, get that jerk some sensitivity training and change things for the next hard of hearing student. I feel like it's an epic battle every time I have to interact with this guy.

Forgive me if I am being nosy, but may I ask about your hearing aid?
I have never had one, but I am working with the Department of rehabilitation and am hopeful that I will be eligible for one.
Do you feel that it improves your hearing a great deal? Do you experience any discomfort or pain when wearing it? Is electronic feedback an issue?
I honestly don't imagine it could help my audio range improve by much but I'm interested to know how the experience is for others before I fully commit to getting one.
 

Reba

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I'm sorry that you're having such a hard time with the student disabilities office. As an interpreter, I worked with college disabilities counselors, and trust me, they're not all like the ones you've dealt with.

You are certainly entitled to more than one service. If you need, you should be able to have not just a terp but a note taker and captioned media. I worked with instructors who also provided printed copies of their notes or downloaded notes and PowerPoint slides for their deaf students.

You are also entitled to a terp for not just classroom time but also any counseling or advisor meetings, or working with the college financial office, library, student group meetings, field trips, etc.

I don't know how interpreter availability is in your area. The sooner you apply for one, the better. I do know at my agency, and later, as a private practice terp, we and the disabilities office did everything in our power to schedule terps for all the students so that no one was lacking.

I know that it's annoying and tiring to have to push for everything that you're entitled to but you'll be glad that you don't give up.
 

DeafNerdMommy

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I could not agree more!
What is it that makes these hearing people think that they are able to judge our abilities?! I'm working with a Deaf advocate agency and hopefully, I will be able to get the services I need, get that jerk some sensitivity training and change things for the next hard of hearing student. I feel like it's an epic battle every time I have to interact with this guy.

Forgive me if I am being nosy, but may I ask about your hearing aid?
I have never had one, but I am working with the Department of rehabilitation and am hopeful that I will be eligible for one.
Do you feel that it improves your hearing a great deal? Do you experience any discomfort or pain when wearing it? Is electronic feedback an issue?
I honestly don't imagine it could help my audio range improve by much but I'm interested to know how the experience is for others before I fully commit to getting one.

I do think that they help a little although I hate hearing the wind so that is annoying. I did have some discomfort at first from the ear pieces and later with my custom molds but it passes quickly. I don't have much feedback, but I don't really use them with my phone per say. I have a streamer that makes all phone calls go through my earing aids, but my hearing is getting to the point where phone calls are very hard to understand. If you can get one for free then it might be worth it. My parents paid $1500, on sale, for both of mine 4 years ago and $500 for my streamer. but I only wear them when I am going out alone, or to go talk to someone. So it was kind of a waste of money for my parent.
 

mikemike

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get an audiograph from an audiologist. For documentation. Get a hearing aid. You should have one when growing up
Most DSS are members of AHEAD which is composed of disability services professionals.
 

WrenchWench

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I have wonderful news and an update on my school situation.

First, what happened at school:

I spoke with my (hearing) teacher about the issue and explained what happened. He got really upset and told me that I should contact the supervisor and demand an interpreter. He told me to say that I was being discriminated against and that if I was not given my basic human right to communication, I would make sure that the local paper informed other members of the community of how horrible my school was as serving the Deaf and hard of hearing.

boy oh boy. That got her attention!


I said everything my teacher told me to say and then some. I shamed the interpreter coordinator for trying to make me feel less than or unworthy, and stated that he has NO RIGHT to determine my abilities Or communication needs. I said I was meeting with a Deaf Advocate and that I was not afraid to get them involved with the issue.

She is going to contact me at the end of this week with an update on my interprete request for the summer. ☺️

I am very pleased with the outcome so far. Thank you all for your encouragement and advice.

And then...
I met with Deaf Advocate today and had the most wonderful experience! We chatted completely in ASL ( it was an incredible relief! ) and went over all the issues. He helped me set up a sorenson account, gave me a print out of my rights, and helped me find info about hearing aids and doctors that are understanding of Deaf culture and won't push a CI on me.

He was so warm, wonderful and understanding and I left feeling SO relieved.

I can hardly wait to chat with my friend via Relay, I will have a system installed in my home next week!!
 

SilverRoxy

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I have wonderful news and an update on my school situation.

First, what happened at school:

I spoke with my (hearing) teacher about the issue and explained what happened. He got really upset and told me that I should contact the supervisor and demand an interpreter. He told me to say that I was being discriminated against and that if I was not given my basic human right to communication, I would make sure that the local paper informed other members of the community of how horrible my school was as serving the Deaf and hard of hearing.

boy oh boy. That got her attention!


I said everything my teacher told me to say and then some. I shamed the interpreter coordinator for trying to make me feel less than or unworthy, and stated that he has NO RIGHT to determine my abilities Or communication needs. I said I was meeting with a Deaf Advocate and that I was not afraid to get them involved with the issue.

She is going to contact me at the end of this week with an update on my interprete request for the summer. ☺️

I am very pleased with the outcome so far. Thank you all for your encouragement and advice.

And then...
I met with Deaf Advocate today and had the most wonderful experience! We chatted completely in ASL ( it was an incredible relief! ) and went over all the issues. He helped me set up a sorenson account, gave me a print out of my rights, and helped me find info about hearing aids and doctors that are understanding of Deaf culture and won't push a CI on me.

He was so warm, wonderful and understanding and I left feeling SO relieved.

I can hardly wait to chat with my friend via Relay, I will have a system installed in my home next week!!
That is great news! I'm happy for you!
 

WrenchWench

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Thank you so much! I am so excited about the future now and really feel like I have someone on my side that will help me navigate my way through all of this.

I've already been able to use my Sorenson account, it's SO MUCH better than Skype!
 
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