A consistent service for employee sign language requests

A new vendor is handling all requests for sign language interpretation for ISU employees, providing a reliable process for accommodating faculty and staff who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Since last month, Vancro Integrated Interpreting Services has been coordinating sign language interpretation requests for employees, said Andrea Little, associate director of employee and labor relations for university human resources (UHR).

Prior to the contract with Vancro, UHR used varying models in recent years to manage employee requests for sign language accommodation, she said. In 2019 and most of 2020, UHR had an in-house interpreter who also coordinated all interpreting and translating services for employees. After that staff member left the university late last year, UHR staff handled sign language interpretation requests, coordinating with employees, departments and the pool of third-party interpreters the university has used for several years.

Little said contracting with a vendor to coordinate requests for sign language interpretation, translation and captioning ensures they will be handled in a streamlined and consistent way. Vancro primarily will coordinate services with Iowa State's existing third-party interpreters but can provide either in-person or virtual interpretation if needed when the usual providers are unavailable. Vancro also offers specialized trainings, support and workshops upon request

"​​Vancro's in-depth experience in providing interpreting services and their attention to deaf preference and honoring local interpreter standards will help to provide a high level of service and focus on the varied requests and needs of our employees and departments," Little said.

To request a sign language interpreter for an employee, fill out this online form at least three days in advance. To request changes to an existing request, email Vancro at interpretingservices@vancro.com. Vancro's online scheduling platform allows 24/7 request submissions.

Student requests for sign language interpretation, cued language transliteration and captioning are handled by student accessibility services and must be submitted at least five days in advance via online form

See UHR's workplace accommodations website for more information on accommodations for employees.