Frequently Asked Questions
When should I get a Sign Language Interpreter?
Whenever you are trying to communicate with a deaf person whose primary mode of communication is a signed language, an interpreter will be needed for effective and clear communication. This is espically true when the communication concerns highly sensitive matters such as legal, medical, or other complex issues. You should be careful about miscommunication in the absence of a qualified interpreter — a nod of the head by a deaf person may be an attempt to appear cooperative with you in the midst of misunderstanding, rather than indicating his or her understanding. Lip-reading is not reliable , since only about 30% of a conversation is visible on the lips, and only a small percentage of the deaf are highly skilled at lip-reading. Also, many deaf people are not fluent in English because it is not “first language. American Sign Language , for example has a grammatical structure that is much different from English. This is why many deaf people cannot effectively communicate using the “paper and pen” method – it requires an understanding of English, which is a “foreign” language to many people.
When a client requests that you provide a sign language interpreter, it is a sign that the deaf person has concerns about his ability to understand you. You must also consider the client’s right to an interpreter as stated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws.
What is the interpreter's role?
An interpreter is strictly a facilitator for effective communication. The interpreter is responsible to accurately relay communication by signing everything that voiced an saying everything that is signed.
It is the obligation of every interpreter to exercise judgement, competence, impartiality, and professional competence. They also must follow a strict ethical code, maintain ethical business practices, and always respect the rights of the parties who are communicating.
Who pays for the interpreter?
It is responsibility of the service provider to cover the interpreting fees. It is illegal to pass the cost to the client.
What information do I need to give when requesting services?
The following information will be needed fulfill your request:
- Your name and contact information;
- The name of the deaf/hard of hearing person needing an interpreter;
- The date, the start time, and the expected end time of the assignment;
- The assignment location, including the address, city and zip code;
- A description of the assignment (medical, staff meeting, counseling, etc);
- The name and phone number of a contact person at the assignment location; and the billing name
and contact information
How do I pay for the interpreter service?
Payment may be made by check or credit card. The billing and contact information you provide when you request the assignment will be used to create an invoice. The invoice will be sent out to you shortly after the assignment is completed. If you want to make other payment arragements, please call us (301) 791-9025.