ASL Interpreting


Sign language interpreters
Why is my business required to provide an interpreter and who is required to pay for it?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits businesses from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. This means that businesses (regardless of profit or non-profit status) must provide equal access to all services and events. Often, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals need a sign language interpreter to have equal access to communication. Businesses are required to provide a sign language interpreter at their own expense.

Can I use a family member as an interpreter?

There are several reasons why it is inappropriate to use a family member as an interpreter. First, there is no guarantee of the family member’s signing and interpreting skills. Secondly, they may not be familiar with the terminology and jargon of the setting. It is also important to consider the professional relationship between the speaker and the family member, which may be compromised if the family member interprets for the speaker.

Professional interpreters have a wealth of experience in a variety of settings. They must pass tests verifying their skills and can be held accountable for errors and omissions in their work. Professional interpreters also operate under a strict code of ethics. Using a family member as an interpreter can put the medical facility or business at risk for miscommunications, issues of safety, and medical errors. Members of the family may feel uncomfortable or unwilling to communicate sensitive information. Examples could include the deaf person’s job performance issues or life-altering test results at the doctor’s office. The deaf person may also choose not to disclose complete information about an incident or medical records to their family member because they do not want them to be privy to that information. This can affect the quality of care the deaf person receives.

What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and when would I need one?

A Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) is a specialist who is Deaf themselves and they have extensive knowledge and understanding of interpreting, Deafness, and the Deaf community and culture. CDI’s partner with a hearing ASL Interpreter and the team of two interpreters work together to provide communication access.

CDIs may be called upon to work with individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, cases of mental health conditions, children who are still developing their language abilities, deaf individuals who were born abroad, those who use home signs to communicate, and those who have very limited language skills. AIDeaf closely accesses each assignment to determine if a CDI is needed.

How many interpreters do I need?

A team of two interpreters is necessary for any assignment lasting over two hours in length or as determined by AIDeaf. If an assignment is shorter in length, but still contains technical or difficult content, it may require two interpreters. This determination is made on a case-by-case basis to ensure effective communication.

How much notice do we need to request an interpreter?

To ensure timely scheduling, we prefer as much notice as possible with a recommended several weeks notice. Any assignment requested 48 hours prior is considered an emergency request.

What if the Deaf/HOH person is requesting a specific interpreter?

Please specify in the “additional information” box on the Request Form the name/gender or other specifications so that we can arrange accordingly.

Why is there a two-hour minimum?

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf has a two-hour minimum requirement for Independent contractors. This industry-standard practice benefits both parties by ensuring that everyone involved has sufficient time to make the most of the interpreted encounter.

What if this is a reoccurring or regular request?

If you need to make a request for services that are reoccurring, whether that be bi-weekly, monthly, etc., please give us a call.

How much does a sign language interpreter cost?

Please contact the office for details about pricing.

How is confidential information handled with an interpreter?

All AIDeaf interpreters adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) set by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the national organization for professional sign language interpreters. This ensures that all AIDeaf interpreters maintain the highest degree of ethical standards. CPC interpreters are required to adhere to 7 tenets of professional standards. This ensures that all information discussed remains confidential and privileged.

Can interpreters work remotely?

Yes! We provided in-person as well as virtual interpreters. Our interpreters have experience working on many virtual platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, Facetime, etc.

What is your cancellation policy?

To avoid being billed, you must cancel outside of 48 hrs prior to the assignment.