Why provide an interpreter?
Providing an interpreter saves time and reduces confusion, liability, or frustration for all parties involved. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides civil rights protections for individuals with disabilities, including those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It is an entity’s duty to provide effective communication by using auxiliary aids and services that ensure communication with people who have a hearing loss is as effective as communication with others. Sign language interpreting services are often used as the means of providing this effective communication.

When do we hire an interpreter?
An interpreter should be used whenever you want to accurately and efficiently convey information. Utilizing an interpreter ensures that impartiality and confidentiality are maintained while the information is conveyed using everyone’s native language.

Who is responsible for interpreting costs?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a business or organization cannot charge a person with a disability for the cost of the accommodation, i.e., a sign language interpreter. The entity that requests the interpreter will receive an invoice for services provided.

Can MIS guarantee an interpreter will be provided?
MIS will attempt to provide an interpreter for every request we receive. Unfortunately, the number of certified interpreters has not kept pace with the rising demand for interpreting services. Because of this, there will be times MIS may be forced to ask you to reschedule.

How do I know the client-related information will remain confidential?
Our office procedures adhere to strict confidentiality and all of our interpreters are expected to remain faithful to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Code of Professional Conduct. Please address any concerns regarding an interpreter’s unethical behavior to our office at 214-969-5585 (V/TTY) or 866-761-2585 (VP).

Why can we not use family members or friends to interpret?
Interpreters are trained in specialized vocabulary and ethics. By holding a certification, the interpreter has demonstrated a minimum level of competency that ensures communication can be facilitated effectively. Family members or friends may not be familiar with the vocabulary, may not be fluent in sign language and often have a difficult time remaining unbiased in the setting.

Why can’t we write notes?
In some circumstances, writing back and forth can be used as a reasonable accommodation, yet many members of the Deaf community are monolingual and are not literate in English. American Sign Language is not English and does not have a written form, therefore a bilingual interpreter is often necessary to facilitate effective communication. The importance of the content being discussed and the communication requirements of the Deaf person should be taken into account when determining the most effective accommodation.

Why can’t he/she read my lips?
Studies have shown that only 30% of spoken English is visible on the lips. While some people are skilled at lipreading, there are many factors that can affect the ability to lipread including lighting, facial hair, accents, etc. When conveying essential information, lipreading is not a skill that can be relied upon as much of it is based on guesswork.

Is sign language the same all over the world?
No. American Sign Language (ASL) is the most commonly used sign language in North America. Just as spoken languages evolve in different cultures and regions of the world, signed languages are unique around the world. ASL is its own unique language with a linguistic separate from spoken English. The American Deaf community has its own culture, traditions and values.