5 Guidelines to Make the Best Use of ASL Interpreters

By hissign|September 13, 2023|Blogs|0 comments

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH) individuals receive equal access to events and programming that their Hearing counterparts enjoy. As a result, organizations throughout Northern Virginia and DC may need a certified ASL translator or interpreter. But what specific responsibilities does an interpreter have? How can you ensure accessibility through an interpreter’s work? An ASL services provider can answer all these questions and more.

Turn to HIS Sign Interpreting for comprehensive communication access options. Our team offers ASL, CART, and more services throughout the DMV region. As September marks Deaf Awareness Month, it’s more important than ever to ensure accessibility for all. You’ll find more information about ASL interpreting on our website to supplement the details below. Call (877) 458-7408 to schedule a service or learn more today!

Below, we explore ASL interpreters’ role and how you can ensure they fulfill their function:

What an ASL Interpreter Is Supposed to Do

Interpreters and translators’ responsibilities boil down to one word: communication. If you or your organization wants to ensure equal access at an event or public programming, you can rely on an interpreter to facilitate it. Such equitable, clear-cut communication provides numerous benefits, depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, you can develop your expectations for ASL interpreters by reviewing their code of professional conduct.

How to Best Utilize an Interpreter

  1. Preparation is key
    ASL services are unique in that how well you prepare them can determine their effectiveness. For example, providing notes and outlines before the event can ensure the interpreter can anticipate the proceedings. Moreover, you can ask for ASL translators to hire who specialize in your field. Doing so ensures they understand its nuances and possess the vocabulary to interpret them. They can work with the confidence a fast-paced, busy event requires.

  2. Sightlines and visibility
    It may sound obvious, but a public event’s hustle and bustle can disrupt the visibility interpreters require and distract organizers from reestablishing that visibility. Get ahead of this problem by creating a prominent area for the translator to stand and provide designated space for Deaf and HoH individuals to see them. Alternatively, broadcast the ASL professional on screens visible throughout your event.

  3. Professionalism
    Interpreters should receive respectful treatment like any specialist hired for a specific role. They are not personal assistants, hired hands, or note-takers—their job is to facilitate spoken communication. Additionally, please do not ask them to stop signing or omit information, as interpreters must focus on presenting the words others say.

    Furthermore, the HIS Sign team asks our clients to speak and interact with others as they do without an interpreter present (namely, at a normal tone and pace). The interpreting professional will ask you to slow down or speak up if necessary. You may need to pause at the end of statements to let interpreters finish signing and to allow Deaf or HoH individuals to ask questions.

  4. Look at and address the Deaf/HoH individual during conversationsASL translators Northern Virginia
    During direct interactions with Deaf or HoH folks, you should address them rather than the interpreter. Doing so may feel strange to the uninitiated because the conversation flows through translation, but it is critical to accessibility and equality. Individuals who require accommodations for hearing, vision, or speech would like others to treat them as they would any Hearing person.

  5. Ask for guidance when necessary
    Ask your translator for advice about the polite procedures if you feel uncomfortable or unsure. Achieving equitable communication depends on people feeling at ease in conversations; understanding the social mores of interpreting is a learning process, and professionals are happy to accommodate!

ASL Translators and Interpreters Northern Virginia

Understanding interpreting professionals’ responsibilities can facilitate equitable and accessible events for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Therefore, Northern Virginia and DC-based organizations should employ professional ASL translators through HIS Sign Interpreting for their programming. Our team can guide you through the process of hiring and using interpreters so that you’re comfortable with doing so. Call (877) 458-7408 or visit our website to learn more about our service options!

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