DILA provides an Interpreter Referral Registry which lists the names and contact for local interpreters for your interpreting needs. Sign language interpreters bridge the communication barrier between individuals who are deaf and individuals who are hearing. In most cases, the interpreter translates spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. Their response is then translated back into English for the hearing party.
For individuals with complex communication needs, such as minimal language skills or a disability that affects visual comprehension, there are relay interpreters. In these situations, the relay interpreter acts as a cultural guide. He or she works alongside a traditional sign language interpreter to ensure accurate, efficient communication between all parties.
Equal Communication Access
The provisions of interpreters is recognized as one means of assuring communication accessibility to deaf individuals. Numerous state and federal laws including:
- Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975 (PL 94-142) requires certain employers and schools to provide interpreters in some situations.
- Under the Americans with Disability's Act (ADA) and its regulations, government entities, most private employers, and places of public accommodations are required to provide qualified sign language interpreters or auxiliary aids as a means of ensuring effective communication.
How to Request an Interpreter
To schedule sign language interpreter services, please contact one the interpreters listed on the Interpreter Referral Registry (click here for list) at least two weeks prior to your event. The interpreter will provide you with their agreement for services, their fee, and bill you directly for their services.