How To Find A Sign Language Interpreter

If your medical office just accepted its first deaf patient, or a deaf employee is required to attend your in-house training program, you need to find a sign language interpreter to make sure your business complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

If your office is located in a large city, you should be able to locate a certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting agency in your area. Live interpreters can be pricey “ around $60 to $80 per hour during normal business hours, and more during evenings and weekends. Live in-person ASL interpreters normally require a 2-hour minimum and sometimes extra for travel time, mileage, and parking fees .

The VRI Alternative:

Technology is changing the way sign language interpreters do business.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) allows deaf and hearing individuals in the same location to communicate using a qualified ASL interpreter in a remote location. VRI allows access to sign language interpreters when traditional in-person services may not be available or cost effective.

Advantages of VRI over traditional in-person interpreting:

1. all interpreters are well-trained, certified, and experienced

2. available 24/7 without delays or two hour minimums

3. equipment is inexpensive, easy to use, and free of leasing fees

4. can attach equipment to any room TV or computer monitor

5. confidential, secure, and private communications via the Internet (encrypted)

VRI is compatible with most video and teleconferencing equipment on the market today, including:

- videophone and broadband connection

- computer, webcam, and broadband with our online video service

- traditional video conferencing equipment such as Tandberg and Polycom

For clients with frequent interpreter needs, I recommend an all-in-one unit such as the Tandberg 150 MXP for ease of use and crystal clear audio and video transmission.

Clients with occasional assignments can utilize a PC and webcam to connect directly to VRI agencies such as Accessible Communication for the Deaf (ACD). Once a client enters contact and billing information, and sets up a free SightSpeed account, they could have an interpreter assisting their patient, customer, or employee in as little as 10 minutes.

While some situations require an in-person interpreter, improved technology and faster Internet connections make VRI the preferred solution for many interpreting needs:

* legal “ courtroom, arraignments, police interviews, probation, prison, depositions

* medical “ routine medical appointments, medicine checks, hospital discharge

* education “ college and K-12 classrooms

* business “ job interviews, staff meetings, safety training

* government “ public meetings and forums, social services, employee meetings

Finding a qualified sign language interpreter has never been easier. With VRI, you can forget about: