Find answers in our FAQ to commonly asked questions about our services.

Why do I need to hire an interpreter?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) dictates a variety of special accommodations, including wheelchair ramps, grab bars and handrails. Title III of the ADA specifically targets auxiliary aides, including interpreting services.

Who is required to provide an interpreter? Why is an interpreter important for effective communication? How can I hire a qualified interpreter?

For a more in-depth explanation, click on the links below.

Title III of the ADA: Provision of Auxiliary Aids

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Home Page

How do I work with an interpreter?

Working with an interpreter can seem overwhelming for a first-time consumer. Here are some tips to assure a pleasant and simple experience for you and top-notch accessibility for your Deaf consumer.

  • Relax.
  • Allow the interpreter and the Deaf person to determine the best place to sit or stand.
  • Speak naturally and directly to the Deaf person. The interpreter is there to facilitate communication between you and the Deaf person, not to become a part of the conversation.
  • When the Deaf person responds, you will often notice a short delay. Please allow time for this so that the interpreter may effectively process the information.
  • The interpreter is bound by a Code of Professional Conduct with strict confidentiality guidelines. S/he is not allowed to interject an opinion or to tell you anything about the Deaf consumer.
  • The interpreter needs breaks, depending on the duration and intensity of the assignment. Please find out the interpreters needs for your assignment.
  • Please allow only one person to speak at a time. The interpreter can only interpret one message at a time.
  • Some assignments require the use of 2 or more interpreters. For more information, please see team interpreting.

Can anyone who knows Sign Language interpret?

No. The ability to converse in sign does not qualify a person to interpret.

Interpreting is a complex process requiring native-like fluency in at least two languages. The interpreter must understand the meaning of the message being communicated in one language and determine how to convey that meaning in the other language. The interpreter must present that message in a way that captures the intent and emotion of the person giving the message.

Qualified interpreters typically study American Sign Language (ASL) two to five years and complete two or more years of interpreter training prior to passing certification tests. Certified professionals must fulfill annual continuing education requirements to enhance skills.

How many interpreters will I need?

Sometimes one interpreter will be able to meet the needs of your particular event. However, the setting, the complexity or duration of the event and specific needs of the consumers may dictate using two or more team interpreting.

NIR’s staff will help you determine whether your event will be best served by a single interpreter, a team or a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI).

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) outlines specific guidelines for team interpreting.

To meet some unique communication challenges, a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) may ensure access for all consumers. RID defines the role and function of the CDI