Why hire a

sign language interpreter?

There are plenty of reasons for businesses to provide access to qualified interpreting services

It’s good for business.

Making sure your patient understands medical instructions, ensuring that your employees know how you are evaluating their job performance, and are able to reach their full potential are all vital benefits to using a sign language interpreter to communicate with deaf individuals. Further, under Section 44 of the Internal Revenue Service Code, many businesses are able to receive federal tax credits for expenses related to using a sign language interpreter. More about tax credit can be found at www.ada.gov/taxcred.htm

It’s the right thing to do.

Communication equality is a basic human right. Deaf people must have access to the same information that hearing people have. Providing a qualified interpreter means deaf people can fully participate in their own lives and in the life of the greater community as a whole.

It’s the law.

The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, requires businesses that serve the public and government agencies to provide qualified sign language interpreters for most situations. The best way to ensure quality is to rely on the professional team at Sorenson Community Interpreting Services.

Questions to ask a sign language interpreting provider.

Do you screen your interpreters?
“Effective communication” is required in order to meet the federal legal standard for services. Unfortunately, according to the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC), 82% of agencies do not conduct a qualification screening of their interpreters. SCIS screens every interpreter through a rigorous process graded by a panel of hearing and Deaf experts.

Have you conducted a drug test and background screening of your interpreters?
SCIS conducts vigorous background checks and drug testing at hire and as indicated during employment. This is to ensure that you may trust interpreters who are on-site at your location.

Do you perform quality checks of your interpreter’s work?
When permission is granted, SCIS often sends supervisory staff to observe interpreter work to ensure quality of service.

Are you using employees or subcontracting this work out to independent contractors (ICs)?
Agencies that solely use employees, like SCIS, are able to extend greater protections to you as a customer.

How do you ensure that our site requirements will be met?
SCIS uses a robust software system that screens interpreters for qualification to work on your site. Interpreters who do not meet your specific requirements will not be able to accept work with you.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the interpreter be a distraction?
At the beginning of any interpreted event, it is natural for people to watch the interpreter. However, this doesn’t seem to impact attention to the speaker and subsides very quickly.

Why can’t they just read lips or read notes?Relying on lip reading or notetaking is often not an effective means of communication. Very little of English phonetics are visible on the lips and face. Because of the striking differences between English and American Sign Language, the use of writing as a means of communication would be equivalent to writing English to a hearing individual who is not a fluent English speaker; it just wouldn’t work.

Do I really need to provide interpreters?
In most cases businesses serving the public are obligated to provide an interpreter as an accommodation to Deaf customers. However, to find out your particular situation you may contact the ADA hotline provided by the United States Department of Justice at:1-800-514-0301.

Do you want to know more about sign language interpreting?
For more information, visit the website of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, a national membership organization for professional sign language interpreters in the United States.

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