Resources

The ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III, gives rights of equal access to places of public accommodation. This includes a wide range of businesses, such as doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, private and public schools, theaters, banks, government agencies, and more. For deaf and hard-of-hearing people, this means businesses and agencies must remove any communication barriers. Often, providing a sign language interpreter is the most effective way to eliminate these frustrating obstacles to communication.

To learn more about the ADA and how it relates to deafness and interpreting, please visit the National Association of the Deaf's informational link. This material is intended solely as an information tool. For legal guidance, please consult your attorney.

HIPAA

Interpretek is committed to complying with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA. As sign language interpreters, we are already accustomed to protecting client privacy with our Code of Professional Conduct. Learn more about HIPAA and interpreting.

Etiquette

These tips will enhance your experience in working with an interpreter.

Meet briefly with the interpreter beforehand. This is the best way to clarify any special vocabulary or jargon, make seating and lighting arrangements, and provide the interpreter with any necessary written information.

The interpreter will place themselves within the sightline of the deaf consumers. This means they will sit or stand as close to the hearing speaker as possible so the deaf person can pick up on facial expressions and body language from their hearing counterpart. Exactly where the interpreter stands or sits depends on the situation.

Speak naturally. Relax! The interpreter will let you know if they need you to slow down or clarify anything.

Avoid private conversations. Everything you or others say in the presence of the deaf person will be interpreted.

Maintain eye contact. This is a very important piece of etiquette – it takes some getting used to, but keep your eye gaze on the deaf person, not on the interpreter. If other people interrupt your conversation, signal that you’ll be with them in just a moment, and then finish your conversation.

Avoid asking the interpreter’s opinion of the conversation’s content. Interpreters follow a code of ethics that requires confidentiality and impartiality. If you want to know how things are going, speak to the deaf person and the interpreter will interpret your inquiry.

Provide a short break every hour. Especially if the interpreter is working without a partner, a short break will provide a physical and mental recess, ensuring the most accurate and successful interpretation possible. For a long or intense assignment, two interpreters may be utilized.

One person should speak at a time. It’s very common among hearing people to speak over each other, hold side conversations, or allow no time between comments. An interpretation’s success depends on the ability of the interpreter to hear each comment individually. Please encourage others in your group to follow this tip.

Please schedule follow-up appointments with the office only. While you may request a favorite interpreter for future assignments, please communicate your needs by calling your local office or sending an online request. While the interpreter focuses on facilitating communication, our office staff will focus on scheduling your reservation. You should also notify us of any changes or cancellations.

Links

Americans with Disabilities Act Homepage
Informational resource

Americans with Disabilities Act Tax Resource Packet
Informational resource

Central New York Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (CNYRID)
Professional organization

Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education
Accreditation board for interpreter education programs

Community for Accredited Online Schools: Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Educational resource

Conference of Interpreter Trainers
Professional organization

Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID)
Professional organization

Gallaudet University Regional Center
Education resource

Genesee Valley Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (GVRRID)
Professional Organization

Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GCDHH)
Statewide non-profit advocacy organization

Georgia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (GARID)
Professional organization

Hands & Voices
Parents of deaf/hard of hearing children resource organization

Helen Keller National Center
Deaf-blind resources

Kansas Association of Interpreters – Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (KAI-RID)
Professional organization

Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
State regulatory organization

Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
State regulatory organization

Missouri Department of Mental Health Deaf Services
State support organization

Missouri Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (MO-RID)
Professional organization

National Alliance of Black Interpreters (NAOBI)
Professional organization

National Association of the Deaf
Advocacy organization

National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC)
Professional development organization

Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH)
State regulatory organization

Pennsylvania Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PARID)
Professional organization

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
Professional organization

Retail Savings Guide for People with Disabilities
Consumer resource

Vermont Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (VTRID)
Professional organization

World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI)
Professional organization