Protocols for engaging Auslan interpreters and captioning services at Griffith University

These protocols have been developed to assist organisers implement appropriate accessibility measures for staff, students and visitors who use sign language interpreters or assistive technology, such as live captioning or infrared hearing systems, to participate in events and activities. The Deaf Student Support Program can assist in sourcing interpreters and captioning services, and can guide you on arrangements for the day.

Note: Teaching and learning activities at Griffith for currently enrolled students who use Auslan interpreters are managed centrally through the Deaf Student Support Program within Student Services. You do not need to make arrangements for interpreters to support students enrolled in scheduled courses or programs at Griffith University or Griffith College.


Support for the deaf

Deaf people are more likely to ask for Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters and/or captioning services. Auslan interpreters are accredited professionals under the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters and abide by a Code of Ethics where confidentiality is central to their practice.

Auslan interpreters are in high demand so should be booked early.

Support for people who are hard of hearing

Hard-of-hearing people are more likely to ask for captioning services and/or infrared hearing systems. An infrared hearing system is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Presenters must wear a microphone or other sound source and the audio input is emitted as an electrical signal.

Contact Information Technology Services to check if your venue is equipped with an infrared hearing system.

Captioning services

Captions can benefit deaf people and those who are hard of hearing, as well as people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Everyone benefits when captions accompany dialogue that is spoken very quickly, by people with different accents and where there is competing background noise. In using captioned material, the event organiser also benefits as transcripts can be used in minutes or reports. Your event can be captioned in situ or via remote link.

Captioning services are in high demand so should be booked early. Email the Deaf Student Support Program at for more information and a booking form.

Your event plan

Celebrating Diversity: Designing inclusive events at Griffith University is a useful guide to planning inclusive events. To ensure you know the dietary and access needs of all participants use this guide, including the sample RSVP on page 15, so you can make all arrangements in advance.

Download the guide

Booking interpreters and captioners

Don’t leave interpreter or captioning requests to the last minute. Complete the Request for Auslan Interpreter and/or Captioning Services booking form, including project, speedtype and class. Do not sign off at this point. DSSP will supply you with a quotation and make bookings. You may be asked to provide additional documentation such as flyers, draft agendas, or PowerPoints (where possible), which will be passed onto the interpreters and captioning service. If you have no requests for interpreters or captioning services 48 hours leading up to your event, ensure that you lodge a cancellation, otherwise cancellation fees will apply.

Displaying captions

Do you want captions displayed on a large screen for all to see? You may also wish to consider a TV monitor facing the stage for the benefit of presenters and panel members. Either way, contact INS so that they can be on hand to liaise with and provide technical support to the captioning service, whether it be in-situ or via remote link as needed.(For remote access, the captioning service can patch into the audio feed and receive audio directly from the Audio/Audio Visual system.)

Screening audio-visual material

If you intend to screen videos, it is wise to check for captions. Relying on auto-captions runs the risk of displaying inappropriate language. Take the time to watch and check your videos. Some useful resources about captioning suppliers can be found at the Media Access Australia website:

Find out more

For all last-minute time and location changes, you must inform the Deaf Student Support Program.  Interpreters and captioners will arrive around 30-45 minutes early and will introduce themselves to you. Interpreters will require reserved seating at the front and in-ear pieces so that they can clearly hear the proceedings.

Interpreters will assess the physical set up and will stand on either side of the presenter at a suitable distance depending on the size of the room and the proximity to screens. They may have all of your event material on their mobile devices, but will always appreciate a print-out on their chair.

Captioners can be flexible in where they can seat themselves as long as they are able to connect their equipment with technical assistance. They will need to test their equipment to ensure that captions can be displayed on screen.

The Deaf Student Support Program will forward a completed booking form to you for final sign off, and when it is returned, it will be sent onto to finance for processing. If the Deaf Student Support Program has engaged external interpreters and/or external captioning services, these invoices will be emailed directly to you.

Need advice?

Email the Deaf Student Support Program at