Impacting an Industry: Subcontract Interpreters

While my past articles have focused on influential individuals in the interpreting industry—from VQAS Coordinator Elaine Zehl to HIS Sign owner and president Christina Hammrich—this piece concentrates on an impactful group! What group has had the greatest impact on the interpreting industry? The Deaf community is the obvious answer—HIS Sign and the interpreting industry at large could not exist without it—but in this context, subcontract interpreters (SIs) are the clear…

ASL Interpreting 101 for Hearing People

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…

Impacting an Industry: Associate Feature

When a drop of water falls into a pond, it ripples outwards and changes the water around it…forever! So, what happens when someone decides to teach a SEE (Signing Exact English) class at a community center? Although it may seem like an insignificant event, the impact of that one class—taught in 1991 in San Mateo, CA—continues to impact the lives of Deaf students in Northern California and beyond. Julie N.,…

Interpreting Services Testing in the DMV

Current and future interpreters must understand the importance of regional and national interpreting standards. These tools ensure that professionals can deliver their services to the widest range of people. In the DMV, our instruments for certifying, measuring, and improving these skills are the Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS), Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), and National Interpreter Certification (NIC). To learn more about stipulations for testing in your area, seek a…

The Purpose of CART & TypeWell Services

Speech-to-text services provide tremendous value to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals. These technologies—including Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and TypeWell—help create equal communication access for Hearing and Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing individuals through verbatim translation and concept transcription. Improve accessibility at your business/organization today by seeking professional CART and TypeWell services from HIS Sign. HIS Sign specializes in onsite and virtual ASL Interpreting, TypeWell, and CART services. Our real-time speech-to-text services are available for…

The History of Sign Language and Deaf Communication

For centuries, Deaf people faced harsh oppression and were denied fundamental rights. Some of the earliest discourse on Deaf individuals comes from the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who claimed that Deaf people were incapable of learning and critical thinking. This false and ill-informed belief contributed to the view that the Deaf were “non-persons,” discrimination that prohibited them from buying property, marrying, or securing a job. Fortunately, the tide turned during the…

2021 Team Reflections

Christina and Brian Hammrich We keep thinking that life is going to slow down and every year we keep being proven wrong…2021 was no different. We gained a second granddaughter, but lost two family members. We strengthened relationships with our children, created new relationships with nieces, nephews and friends and we grew even closer to each other. We travelled around the country, visiting new places for the first time and…

Impacting an Industry: Associate Feature

Mrs. Elaine Ziehl—a fixture of the Northern Virginia Deaf community—retired on September 30th, 2021. For over 20 years,  Elaine worked at the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH), where she was a Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS) Coordinator. To commemorate her crucial role in the DMV’s interpreting community, this ‘Impacting an Industry’ piece will reflect on Elaine’s legacy. Influence on the Community As a VQAS coordinator,…

7 Situations In Which ASL Interpreting Can Help

The hearing population tends to overlook many circumstances that present difficulties to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Job interviews, professional conferences, sports games/practices, and traveling may pose challenges for non-Hearing folks. Nevertheless, accessibility options–such as an English to ASL Interpreter or Translator–can help Deaf/HOH individuals overcome barriers and receive equal footing. Organizational leaders, then, should turn to a local provider of interpreting services. Businesses and individuals around Leesburg, VA,…

How to Help Make Entertainment More Deaf-Accessible

Television, movies, and theater are great platforms for universal messages of friendship, kindness, and acceptance of others. However, these media–and other forms of entertainment–have historically lacked accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. Although there have been efforts to amend this oversight, Deaf advocates continue working for improvements. Professional organizations–such as Cart Service Providers–seek widespread captioning and assistive technology use, content featuring Deaf/HOH actors, and more.  Such an…