Ohio University

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Published: March 6, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University is committed to making educational opportunities, employment and sponsored events accessible to all students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

To streamline requests for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, the Office for University Accessibility (OUA) has developed a new online process.

Employees who request an ASL interpreter as an accommodation for their employment will complete the online process themselves. This would include the classroom setting; individual meetings with students, department members or other researchers; or other settings related to the performance of their job.  

Event planners for department and program activities may request ASL interpreters through the online process. “Events” may include performances, orientation sessions or other program activities. OUA will arrange for interpreters and will cover expenses in situations where a particular person has requested an interpreter to attend a University-sponsored event or program.

Event planners have two options:

  1. Wait to initiate the request for ASL with OUA until you receive a specific request. Requests made with less than seven days’ notice are not guaranteed to be filled.
  2. Fill out the form in advance of knowing if a person will need an interpreter and cancel the request seven days prior to the event if no specific individual has requested services. Failure to cancel the request in a timely manner may result in the department being billed for services.


Event planners are expected to include language in their program announcement to let attendees know who to contact if they need to request an ASL interpreter or other accommodation with a clear date by which the request must be received.

Suggested language would be: “To request an ASL interpreter or other accommodation to attend this event, please contact [Name of Event Contact Person/Dept] at XXX@ohio.edu no later than YYYdate.”

Individuals who communicate through American Sign Language interested in attending an event on any OHIO campus would contact the person or department coordinating the event. (For all other ASL accommodation requests, students would contact Student Accessibility Services.)

If a department wishes to provide ASL interpreters regardless of request, contact OUA for guidance on how to coordinate these services at the department’s expense.

Those who coordinate programs that may be open to the public may contact OUA at 740-593-2620 for assistance in creating language for their promotional materials or determining the necessary services to provide access.  

Ohio University contracts with pre-approved agencies and individuals.

“The office has a better chance of securing an ASL interpreter when we are given at least seven days’ notice. Many of our interpreters travel from Columbus or Lancaster, since the availability of interpreters is limited locally,” said Dr. Dianne Bouvier, associate director for University Accessibility. “We arrange ASL interpreters for the Athens Campus and all regional campuses.”

To request an ASL interpreter, please complete the Request an American Sign Language Interpreter form. After the form is submitted:

  • When an interpreter has been scheduled, confirmation will be emailed to the requester.
  • If OUA is unable to secure an ASL interpreter, notice will be provided to the requester at least one day prior to the event date.


Questions about requesting an American Sign Language Interpreter may be directed to Dr. Dianne Bouvier at bouvier@ohio.edu.