Interpretype® is quickly becoming the technology of choice among many schools, colleges and universities that need an instant communication solution. Providing equal access to students and faculty that are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing presents many challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Interpreters, CART operators, note takers and internet classrooms are all valuable resources being utilized by schools. But until recently, there was no easy way to instantly communicate between hearing people and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people. With the advent of Interpretype®, instant communication is now possible all over college campuses.
Rochester Institute of Technology Case Study:
Perhaps the best example of a university that has seen dramatic success with Interpretype® is Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT has the National Institute for the Deaf (NTID) on its campus. This college combines 1200 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students with 15,000 hearing students. This creates a tremendous communication challenge throughout the campus. Nearly everywhere, face to face communication between Deaf and hearing students, faculty and administrators needs to take place. Although there are nearly one hundred sign language interpreters on staff, thousands of hours go uninterpreted each semester.
RIT has looked to Interpretype to help solve this problem. There are over 30 Interpretype® communication systems on campus. They are being used in a variety of situations.
Here is a summary of how RIT is utilizing them:
- Campus Safety uses Interpretype® at their security office and night window to communicate with Deaf students about parking regulations, security issues and safety in general.
- Housing operations has Interpretype® in two different offices so the staff can help students instantly with dormitory issues such as lost keys, or to report a problem or maintenance issue.
- RIT Registration uses Interpretype® at their registration windows to communicate with Deaf students during registration week, or to help them change classes or adjust their schedule.
- Financial Aid utilizes Interpretype® to help Deaf students with loan and payment questions they may have about their student loans. They also use them for private conferences with students about their finances.
- The Wallace Library uses Interpretype® at both the reference desk and at the checkout desk. Since the library employs both Deaf and hearing students, Interpretype® is used two ways; Deaf employees use it to communicate with hearing students, and hearing employees use it to communicate with Deaf students.
- The College of Business purchased three Interpretype® systems to use in a variety of ways. Interpretype® is used by some Administrative Assistants to help Deaf students. They also have pairs of ITY™ devices that students can borrow to use during visits to their professors during office hours. The students requested the latter use due to the fact that once an interpreter leaves the classroom, the Deaf student cannot schedule an interpreter to assist him/her with a visit to the teacher. Now the student can take a pair of Interpretypes® and use them to get help during office hours.
- The Medical Center uses Interpretype® to communicate with Deaf students instantly. Although the Medical center has an interpreter on staff, sometimes the privacy that Interpretype® offers is preferable to Deaf students wishing to take advantage of it. It may be also be used for very short interactions just to let the Deaf patient know that an interpreter has been paged for them or to ask if they need ice or a wheelchair.
"I am writing from Wallace Library at RIT to tell you what a wonderful addition Interpretype has been to our operation. We have several hundred students in the Library everyday from RIT and NTID and Interpretype has been a wonderful aid in communicating with our deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons. It was disheartening in past years to ask our patrons to write everything down for us so that we could communicate. Now the students walk in and see that we have Interpretype and most of them know just what to do. That tells me that this device is catching on around campus and that the students and staff appreciate it. Thank you for aiding us in better serving and communicating with our patrons."
—Laura DiPonzio Heise, Coordinator of Student Employees