It is very common for deaf students to use notetakers in lectures; if the primary language of the deaf student is Auslan, s/he will also use Auslan/English interpreters.  Normally in a lecture setting, two interpreters will work in tandem.  This is to allow for the interpreting work to be shared and is because, most commonly, lectures contain a level of discourse that includes fast-paced delivery and what interpreters refer to as very dense text.  That is, there is a lot of information that is packed into a relatively short period of time!

So, 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.  Hence, a notetaker is employed to undertake this task.

Working with notetakers and interpreters in a lecture environment 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 hard copies of any handouts as well as any PowerPoint presentations,
  • 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 lecture

Click here to download a deafConnectEd information sheet on working with interpreters and click here to download a deafConnectEd information sheet on working with notetakers.


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