Types of


Business Interpreting

Business Benefits

In addition to interpreting services, SCIS can provide enhanced services to your business such as:

  • Localization of web site and marketing content into video of American Sign Language (ASL) to focus on Deaf customers 
  • Translation of training videos into permanent ASL versions for your employees
  • Training modules for our on-site interpreters to prepare them for the unique environment of your facility including topics such as safety rules and specialized vocabulary 
  • Training services for your employees on working with Deaf employees
  • Accurate and timely reporting of services used 
  • Collect regular feedback from your employees ensuring that the interpreters we send are ones who meet their specific communication needs  

Contact SCIS today to figure out how best to meet your communication needs.

Interpreting for Business

Providing an interpreter through Sorenson Community Interpreting Services is good business. You can be assured that our employees have been adequately trained, are covered by appropriate worker’s comprehensive and liability insurance, and have been thoroughly vetted. 

Making sure your employees and customers can effectively communicate is not just good business, it’s also the law. 

  1. Title I of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, requires businesses that have 15 or more employees to provide ‘effective communication’ to Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees. The use of a qualified interpreter may meet this standard depending on the communication needs of the individual. 
  2. Title III of the ADA requires that businesses open to the public provide access to Deaf and hard-of-hearing customers regardless of the size of the business. This may include providing ‘effective communication’ through sign language interpreting. 
  3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973 bars discrimination against individuals with disabilities by any program that receives federal financial assistance. This covers customers who are accessing services as well as employees. 

Education Interpreting

Educational interpreting in K-12 settings provides deaf and hard of hearing students access to the educational content and social interactions of the classroom and school environment.

SCIS provides quality educational interpreting services by:

  • Having a pool of interpreters with experience and expertise in a wide range of educational interpreting settings
  • Understanding the unique demands of educational interpreting
  • Matching interpreters with students based on  language preferences and educational needs
  • Working as part of the educational team 
  • Providing interpreting services that support students’ educational goals and outcomes 
  • Ensuring interpreters are role models and language models
  • Performing background checks and drug screenings on all interpreters.

Government Interpreting

Legal interpreting is a specialty which requires interpreters who have training and education in specialized topics of law, protocol and in interpreting strategies unique to courtroom settings and legal proceedings.

SCIS provides accurate and effective legal interpreting services by:

  • Working with clients to determine appropriate staffing strategies
  • Identifying communication access issues that may impact the case
  • Providing a VP Customer Service line for Deaf consumers 
  • Using interpreters who are qualified by virtue of credentials, training and experience 
  •  Assigning Deaf interpreters when a consumer isn’t fluent in ASL or there are additional factor involved

Healthcare Interpreting

The Sorenson Difference

Sorenson’s medical interpreting services are in a class of their own. You can be assured that each SCIS interpreter on your site has met the following baseline requirements.

  • Passed criminal background checks using Social Security trace ID
  • Passed drug screening
  • Trained annually in HIPAA and how it applies to interpreters 
  • Trained in protecting themselves and patients from bloodborne pathogens
  • Trained in violence in the workplace
  • Screened annually for tuberculosis
  • Vaccinated for influenza annually
  • Offered Hepatitis-B vaccination series

SCIS will also work with you to tailor our services to your needs. We help ensure that our interpreting services meet your accreditation needs, whether it be through the Joint Commission, NCQA, DNV GL, or others. Additionally, we can provide educational services to your staff to better prepare them for working with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing patients.

Interpreting in a Medical Setting

Using Sorenson Community Interpreting Services in medical settings allows providers to focus on patient care and for patients to focus on their own health. Research shows that health outcomes improve when non-English speaking individuals utilize an interpreter to communicate with their providers. Medical error is reduced when history can be taken accurately and when patient instructions can be understood. 

According to the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA):

Studies report positive benefits of professional interpreters on communication (errors and comprehension), utilization, clinical outcomes and patient experiences with care. The use of professional interpreters is associated with more improved clinical care than use of ad hoc interpreters, and professional interpreters appear to raise the quality of clinical care for LEP patients to approach or equal that of patients without language barriers… Interpreter services have been found to lower costs by decreasing the use of diagnostic testing, and reducing the probability of hospital admission, receipt of intravenous fluids and post-emergency department (ED) visit charges.

Relying on a family member to interpret may seem like a good idea on first glance. However, this practice is inappropriate for many reasons. Family members do not necessarily possess adequate fluency in the medical setting to accurately convey information. They frequently edit information and do not tell the patient what they consider unimportant or even ‘bad news.’ And, the patient may not be forthcoming with important medical information that they feel embarrassed to say in front of family.

Relying on lip reading or note taking is often not an effective means of communication. Very little of English phonetics are visible on the lips and face. In one recent study, the average person was able to recognize a sentence correctly only 12.4% of the time (Nicholas A. Altieria, 2011). Because of the striking differences between English and American Sign Language and also the unevenness of educational opportunities the use of writing as a means of communication would be equivalent to writing English to a hearing patient who is not a fluent English speaker; it just wouldn’t work.

What about VRI?

Many medical facilities use Video Remote Interpreting, or VRI, as a replacement to interpreting. VRI can be beneficial in certain limited situations including triage, non-critical brief exchanges, and in rural areas where on-site interpreting is not available. The National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf both clearly caution providers in using VRI as a general replacement to on-site interpreting. Rather, it should be used only as an enhancement and with consent of the patient. 

There are three main pieces of federal legislation that mandate provision of interpreters in medical settings.

  1. Title III of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, requires businesses that serve the public to provide ‘effective communication’ to Deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. The use of a qualified interpreter may meet this standard depending on the communication needs of the individual.
  2. Section 504 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973 bars discrimination against individuals with disabilities by any program that receives federal financial assistance.
  3. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act requires covered entities to provide sign language interpreters where needed, and proactively inform patients of their availability. 

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