It is very common for deaf students to use notetakers in classes where there is theory included as a part of the discourse; if the primary language of the deaf student is Auslan, s/he will also use Auslan/English interpreters. Depending on the delivery and overall needs as assessed for your particular class, there may be one interpreter or two who work in tandem.
A notetaker is used because whether or not your deaf student is watching you to lipread or watching the interpreter, it is next to impossible for him or her to simultaneously take notes.
Working with notetakers and interpreters in the classroom is fairly straight-forward. The notetaker will sit next to or near the deaf student and the interpreter(s) will position themselves by standing near you, taking into account any overhead projection you may be employing.
It will assist both the notetakers and interpreters if you could:
- provide the interpreter with a briefing of the content and aim(s) of the day’s lesson,
- provide the interpreter with a copy of any handouts,
- if possible, email the interpreter in advance soft copies of any PowerPoint presentations or notes and/or any subject specific jargon – this will allow the interpreter to prepare prior to the class,
- manage classroom interaction in such a way that turn-taking is clear and that only one person speaks at a time