ASL Interpreting 101 for Hearing People

By hissign|May 16, 2022|Blogs|0 comments

Before employing the services of an ASL interpreter, Hearing individuals should learn the best practices for interpreted interactions and events: careful event preparation, social expectation delineation, and the incorporation of demonstrative communication behaviors. These procedures serve as standards of conduct while also reflecting Deaf culture values. They help make for smooth interactions between Hearing, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing individuals.

To ensure your interpreted event turns out successfully, engage ASL interpreting services from HIS Sign. Our trained and qualified team is available to work in educational, government, medical, private, commercial, and community settings throughout Leesburg, VA. In addition to onsite options, we also offer virtual ASL Interpreting, TypeWell, and CART services. You can learn more about and hire our services today by contacting us at (877) 458-7408.

Below, we outline best practices for Hearing people when they engage ASL interpreting services for an event:

Preparation for an Interpreted Event

Before the event involving an ASL interpreter—whether it be a meeting, appointment, class, or otherwise—provide the interpreter or agency with relevant materials. A meeting or class, for instance, may entail an outline, topic information, key terminology, and an agenda. Providing materials upfront allows the interpreter to anticipate the engagement’s flow and study the subject matter. 

Additionally, discuss the engagement’s parameters with the interpreter. You might review the planned discussion styles: presentation, panel, group, interactive, or one-on-one. Share the event’s expected duration ahead of time so that the agency can determine how many interpreters to provide. 

Clarifying Social Expectations

Next, investigate the interpreter’s specific responsibilities. For instance, HIS Sign Interpreters must focus on conveying everything spoken, so we request clients avoid asking them to omit information or stop signing. While the speaker can rephrase their message as necessary, the interpreter will communicate it as spoken.

We also suggest referring to an interpreter as “the” or “our” interpreter rather than “my” or “the Deaf” interpreter. These professionals act as a conduit for conveying the same information communicated audibly, so their role is equal to the speaker’s and should be treated as such.

Likewise, interpreters are not companions, tutors, or helpers. They fulfill an interpreting role alone. If clients want a note-taker or transcriber for the engagement, they must engage one separate from the interpreter.

Incorporating Physical Behaviors

Speakers can facilitate communication by incorporating physical behaviors during an engagement. In one-on-one scenarios, speakers should face the Deaf individual and interpreter. Although speakers in group settings cannot address individuals alone, they should face their audience. Good eye contact also encourages effective conversation because it connects those involved on a visual level.

Furthermore, natural facial expressions and body language provide information about the message. That said, speakers should refrain from exaggerated gestures or making up signs. Doing so can come across as an insult. Moreover, the interpreter provides all such information. 

Incorporating Speaking Behaviors

Deaf Culture Values Leesburg VA

Even with an interpreter, you should use effective speaking behaviors in front of an audience. Not all audience members read lips or rely on partial hearing, so speaking louder or slower is unnecessary. Speakers should use normal volume, cadence, and annunciation.

Both the audience and interpreter benefit from engaging one speaker at a time. In group settings, individuals should speak one at a time and try to avoid talking over one another. If the audience or interpreter asks a speaker to repeat information, they should rephrase the information rather than repeat themself.

HIS Sign: Embracing Deaf Culture Values in Leesburg, VA

You have access to professional ASL interpreters and translators who practice Deaf culture values in every setting through HIS Sign Interpreting. We offer specialists for onsite and remote ASL Interpreting, TypeWell, and CART services in Leesburg, VA. Moreover, we provide responsive, affordable, and accommodating services for a variety of needs. Contact us today at (877) 458-7408 to request a service.

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