In today’s business world, it is increasingly important to be able to cater to the needs of all customers and clients. This means being able to provide services in a client’s language of choice. Video remote interpreting (VRI) for sign language is a technology that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to communicate with others through a live video connection. This service can be extremely helpful for businesses that want to champion inclusivity, and remain compliant with laws and regulations.
How Does Video Remote Interpreting for Sign Language Work?
You will typically have a video call in which both parties can see each other, and a remote sign language interpreter is present via their remote office or call center. The interpreter will interpret the conversation between the parties in real-time. The remote interpreter and deaf participant will communicate in sign language while the hearing participants will communicate audibly with the interpreter. This way, everyone is able to participate in the conversation.
Why Remote Sign Language Interpreting is Great For Business
There are many benefits to using VRI for sign language in your business. First and foremost, it allows deaf and hard-of-hearing people to have the same level of communication as everyone else. This can be crucial for conducting seamless business communications and transactions, as well as for personal interactions, allowing everyone to be on the same page.
For businesses that rely heavily on interpreters for communication with their patients, employees, students, or clients, video remote interpreting for sign language can be a total game-changer. Post-pandemic, many businesses have been forced to go remote, which leaves a gaping hole where on-site interpreters used to be. This technology is extremely effective in helping to bridge the communication gap for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Additionally, VRI is cost-effective and efficient, which means that you can provide additional services to your deaf and hard-of-hearing clients without having to compromise on quality. Businesses have the option of scheduling VRI services in advance or on-demand, which makes it a great option for last-minute meetings and urgent interactions where on-site interpreters are unavailable.
Ensuring Your Business is Compliant
There are also some legal benefits to using VRI for sign language. For example, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses provide auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities. This can include providing interpreters for sign language. By using VRI, you can ensure that your deaf and hard-of-hearing clients are able to access your services and enjoy the same quality experience that others do. Businesses that are bound by the ADA Act include, but are not limited to:
- Health care providers
- Places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail stores
- Service providers, such as banks and insurance companies
- Schools and other educational institutions
It is important to remember that VRI should not be used as a replacement for on-site interpreters, but rather as an additional service to provide greater accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. While it does not completely eliminate the need for on-site interpreters, VRI for sign language certainly does make for a convenient alternative if you have the right environment to support this innovation.
What makes a business environment well-suited for VRI?
There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not your business is ready for VRI for sign language. Because you’re able to see facial expressions and body language, VRI allows the benefit of understanding tone and emotion. This is particularly important when dealing with legal or medical matters. This does, however, mean that your environment needs to allow for high-quality video. First, you’ll need access to high-speed internet in order to support the live video connection and ensure clear video. You’ll also need a quiet room with good lighting in which deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals can comfortably see the interpreter and the person they are speaking to. If you have a meeting room that meets these requirements, then it’s likely that VRI will be a great option for your business. However, if your office is constantly busy and there are many distractions, on-site interpreters will likely be a better solution.
Video remote interpreting services open up a world of possibilities for businesses that aim to be more inclusive and accessible for all. Remote sign language interpreters can provide a high-quality experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, making it possible for them to communicate just as effectively as anyone else. When determining if VRI is right for your organization, there are a few key things to consider, such as the suitability of your business environment. By using VRI for sign language, you can ensure that your business is compliant with ADA regulations and that you are providing the best possible service to your deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.
At Associated Interpreters for the Deaf, we understand that the world has changed significantly after COVID, ushering in the new remote era. We aim to support businesses that require sign language interpreters but may be unable to have an on-site interpreter. Our professional VRI services are perfectly suited to businesses who are looking for a convenient, reliable, and affordable solution.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.