Sign Language Interpreter Agency

Many professionals do not realize that compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 mandates the accessibility of many of their services. Physicians, Attorneys, etc. who deal with those who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing, must afford accessible communication to these patients/clients which are available from a sign language interpreter agency.

Just as an interpreter may be used for communication between people with different languages, a sign language interpreter may provide information access to those who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing. Professional communication can be complex and having an interpreter present provides safeguards for all participants.

Simply knowing sign language is not qualification to be an interpreter. There are rigorous national examinations and certifications for sign language interpreters. Quality, accuracy, and general confidentiality of information should be assured by contacting a sign language interpreter agency.

American Sign Language (ASL) does not assign a sign for each word in English; it is actually a language with different verb forms and different grammar. Most professional interpreters are proficient in American Sign Language and have taken interpreter-training classes.

There are a variety of public services that should use a sign language interpreter agency as well. Town Hall Meetings, unemployment and public assistance interviews, tests, such as given by motor vehicles for driver’s licenses, any publicly mandated communication should, by law, provide a sign language interpreter.

Private employers should also provide interpreters when appropriate for interviews or testing.

There is a “Disabled Access Credit” (IRS tax code section 44) that helps some small businesses to provide communication through a qualified interpreter. There are limitations, but it can defray some of the cost of an interpreter.