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Frequently Asked Questions

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Please take a look at our most asked questions and if you do not see your question answered here or want to know more details get in touch with us, we are here to help!

ACE-BC administers two employment registries for advertising interpreting or transcribing opportunities in the post-secondary system.

Each post-secondary institution in BC manages their own hiring process, some are unionized environments and others contract services. ACE-BC assists in distributing the available positions to service providers that may be able to fill them.


Hiring process for service providers summary:

  • Assessing Student’s Needs – Communication preference (ASL, Contact, Oral, speech to text), Course load or configuration, English Literacy.
  • Advertising For Service Provider – Type of interpreting or text based service, Course content, Days/hours of employment, Location, Contract or union position.
  • Defining Work Environment – Faculty awareness, Schedule of meetings per term.
  • Hiring – Agreement as to what is required in the job, Overview of invoicing system and interpretation policies and procedures.
    Related Categories: Job Board

Base Budget Grants
Each public University, College and Institute has had their interpreting and transcribing services grant funding rolled into the base funding allocated by the ministry each year. Some institutions may over-expend this dependent upon enrolment pressures, in which case, the institution is expected to cover the shortfall to meet their legal obligation for access. Institutions who do not fully utilize their grant in any given year are expected to keep the funds in reserve to meet future demands as often, particularly in institutions outside the lower mainland; requests for interpreting services are cyclical.

Canada Study Grants (CSG)
Each institution will decide either through policy or on a case-by-case basis whether or not students who are eligible for a Federal Canada Study Grant (currently $8,000 per year for full-time students) will be required to access CSG funding to contribute to interpreting costs. Sometimes the CSG’s are fully or partially expended to provide adaptive equipment and/or note-takers. Any available additional funds can be used for interpreting, captioning or peer note-takers.

Assistance Program for Students with Disabilities (APSD)
Students not eligible for a Canada Study Grant solely because they are not enrolled in a credit program may be eligible for APSD funding. Each institution has developed specific criteria for allocating these funds in addition to ministry eligibility criteria.

Assisted Listening Devices (ALD) are used to bring sound closer to a user and help reduce background noise.
A speaker or instructor typically would use a microphone to send the voice signal directly to a student’s hearing aid or cochlear implant receiver.
FM , Infrared and inductive loop systems are three common amplifiers that are used.

These days closed captioning is becoming more prevalent on current videos. However, many institutions and instructors are still using old videos that do not have closed captioning.

Institutions can have videos captioned in a couple of ways.

  • You can send your video out to one of the closed caption specialists that can be found online and they will caption the media and return it for a fee.
  • You could have a speech-to-text transcriber (CART or Typewell) complete the captioning of the media in real time during a class or meeting. This can also be done prior to or after the video has been shown. The transcript can be provided to the student.
  • An institution could purchase captioning software and have an employee complete the captioning.

It is important to discuss with the student, what type of supports they have had in the past. Consult about the student preference, and review the information sent in the audiologist report.

Classroom accommodations for students who are deaf, which could include one or more of the following:      

  • Assistive listening devices: i.e. FM receiver and transmitter or conference microphone
  • Peer notetaker
  • ASL interpreter
  • Electronic notetaker
  • Real time captioner
  • Tutor
  • Exam accommodations: (see below)
  • Access to technology through Canada Study Grants

Classroom accommodations for students who are hard of hearing:

In some instances students who are hard of hearing may not request services, as they feel they can compete in the hearing world or because they may not be aware that services are available to them.

Instructors are encouraged to refer students who may not be receiving services to the Accessibility office. Depending on the degree of hearing loss supports may be similar to those provided a student who is deaf (as above) and may include:

  • Tutoring
  • Peer note taking
  • Preferential seating
  • Liaison with instructors and other faculty
  • Communication devices such as an FM system or TTY
  • Ensuring room acoustics are appropriate or room changes if necessary
  • Access to technology through CSG grants
  • Exam accommodations

Note: While it is important that students know that support services are available, it is entirely up to the student whether or not to use those services.

Each institution is responsible for deciding the rate of pay for the service providers they hire. This can be done through negotiation, union mandated pay grade or other method decided upon by Human Resources.

You or HR department may wish to discuss the current payment landscape with other institutions to determine what the current average rates of pay are normal at the time of hire. You may also wish to contact a local interpreting agency to discuss their fee for providing interpreters. This will help get an understanding of the current provincial wage situation.

Institutions where the student is registered are responsible for arranging and paying for service providers for practicum placements that are part of program delivery. This can be done in consultation with the practicum location and the student.

It is valuable to check with the student to see which accommodations they may have been provided with in the past.

The audiologist may also provide suggestions as to which accommodations should be considered.

It is important that the student have an interpreter or transcriber present for any instructions as well as the ability to ask questions during an exam.

Students may wish to write exams in an Accessibility office or in class with their peers. Time extension consideration may be an option for individuals that have longer reading comprehension needs.

There is a range of exam accommodations that can be used for deaf students or those with hearing loss if they require them. The essential requirements of the course must also be taken into consideration.

Some examples of typical accommodations are:

  • Extended time to accommodate for student’s decreased reading or writing speed, and/or other documented disability.
  • Use of calculators, or word processing equipment including spell-check
  • Some students may require a scribe for written tests and examinations.
  • As oral examinations are difficult for students with a hearing loss, written exams may be necessary.
  • The format of the test or exam may be altered if the course work can be appropriately assessed in an alternative manner, (e.g. take-home test or a multiple choice test could be submitted for an essay exam).
  • Where recall of terminology is not an issue, allow the use of a dictionary or allow the student to question the meaning of a specific word.
Often ASL users will prefer an ASL interpreter or team. Hard of hearing individuals may prefer to use an FM system or a Typewell transcriber. This decision is very individual and is important to discuss with the student on a case by case basis.

Characteristics of the Speaker

  • Facial hair or accents that may make the speaker difficult to speech read
  • Speaker skill (fluency, fluidity mastery of the source language, etc.)
  • Accent or other idiosyncratic speech patterns
  • Idiosyncratic speech patterns
  • Ability to use organizers such as outlines
  • Use of PowerPoint/board/overheads
  • Rate of speech
  • Willingness to manage technology access (i.e. repeat questions, ensure microphone access for speakers)
  • Ability to accommodate (may have to manipulate equipment e.g. not face class in lab)

Course Format/Expectations

  • Delivery format (lecture, on line, etc)
  • Pacing of class (fast paced requires additional considerations)
  • Group work in the classroom
  • Group work outside class time
  • Expectations for participation during class
  • Presentations expected
  • Verbal content vs. numerical
  • New vocabulary demands (e.g. highly technical course)
  • Off site components

Physical Setting

  • Room acoustics
  • Number of students in class (more bodies/more background noise)
  • Size of classroom
  • Availability of external phone/internet connections
  • Stability of location (scheduled in more than one room)
  • Lighting

Student Factors

  • Previous experience using accommodations (successful or not successful)
  • Literacy level for text based services
  • Reading speed
  • Accurate self-knowledge of personal skill level in communication
  • Ability to speech read
  • Vision (must be good for speech reading)
  • Flexibility or adaptability relates to willingness to try new option
  • Familiarity with vocabulary of subject (needed to speech read)
  • Ability to voice/ask questions
  • Competitiveness, need/desire to obtain good marks
  • Age factors: how experienced at managing the disability,
  • Experience self advocating
  • Learning to hear post cochlear implant

Funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, Academic Communication Equity – British Columbia [ACE-BC] provides province-wide services to support access for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind.