Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

TITLE: Sign Language Interpreter

CLASS: Classified




Under the direction of Disability Services management, provides sign language interpreting/transliterating services for deaf and hard of hearing students in lecture and lab classes, exams, discussions and related activities. The Sign Language Interpreter accepts responsibility for knowledge of and adherence to the ethics of interpreting and the role of the interpreter. The job requires fluency in English and American Sign Language; and a high degree of mental concentration, which is directly correlated to the level of class difficulty.


  1. Provides in-class interpretation and transliteration services using sign language communication for deaf and hard of hearing students in college classes and/or laboratories which may require presentation and exchange of highly complex and technical information. Assesses student needs and the interpreting situation before and during assignments and makes adjustments as needed.
  2. Interprets from deaf and hard of hearing students’ contributions, reports, or discussions to the instructor and to the class; and interprets deaf and hard of hearing students' questions directed to the instructor.
  3. May provide transcribing services meaning-for-meaning what is being said in classroom lectures and discussions via laptop computer using abbreviation software. Provides transcripts to students after class.
  4. Establishes and maintains a good working relationship with students, staff and/or off-site agencies as may be required by the assignment.
  5. Assists with providing for the deaf and hard of hearing student's communication needs, including assessing and adjusting lighting, seating arrangements and access to visual aides.
  6. Preps for classes by reading and becoming familiar with technical vocabulary and content.
  7. Stays abreast of new developments and techniques in the interpretation field by attending workshops and conferences and reviewing current literature, legislation and technology.
  8. Performs other related duties as assigned.


Work is mainly performed in the classroom/laboratory environment. There may be occasional off-campus assignments. Work may be scheduled during any of the scheduled class times: days, evenings, and/or weekends.


Considerable learned physical skill is required to perform sign language. Certain coordinated finger, limb or body movement must be performed routinely in the course of regular work. Extended standing or sitting required. Constant repetitive motion and mental processing may be required which could lead to fatigue.


Completion of an accredited Interpreter Training Program or related Associates Degree is required. RID Certification or other nationally recognized Certification.  Experience performing the duties of the job may substitute for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis. Demonstrated skill in a range of sign language systems. A minimum of three years of documented interpreting experience of which at least two must be interpreting at the secondary or post-secondary level. Ability to provide own transportation to and from campuses and/or off-site functions may be required.

REVISED: 04/07

REPLACES: Sign Language Interpreter 08/11/06