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Tip of the Week
Set up a Remote Sign Language Interpreting Service
What would you do if someone who is Deaf wants to take a class or attend an activity your organization offers? As an event provider, you are required to provide a reasonable method of communication for individuals who can't hear. That usually means sign language interpreting services for interactions that last more than a few minutes. Below we discuss how to ensure your organization is prepared to support a quick turnaround request or need for sign language interpreting.
Time: 1-2 hours in smaller chunks of time
Who Benefits: Individuals who are Deaf or Nonverbal
Select a service
Search for "remote sign language interpreting service" along with the name of your state. This will provide a list of possible vendors.
We have started a list of sign language interpreting servicesthat provide remote sign language interpreting with a quick turn-around time.
Contact the service and confirm they meet your needs. Ask:
If they provide remote services
Their rate per minute and whether they have a minimum number of minutes
What time frames they support (weekends, evenings?)
How long it typically takes from the time you call to request an interpreter until they can provide one?
If they provide free account setup and a first time test
Set up an account
Add the services remote software (often a conferencing software such as Zoom) onto a tablet, laptop or other portable computer in your organization
Pick a device with a larger screen
Consider how the device will be used and purchase any accessories that will make use easier within your environment.
A laptop may work best in an office setting.
A tablet hanging from the back of a chair may work best in a church setting.
A TV or tablet with a stand may work best in a yoga studio.
Schedule and conduct a quick test with the service to make sure everything works
Let the people in your organization who may need to use the service, know that it is there and how to use it
Having a remote sign language interpreting service set up ensures you are ready to support an individual who is Deaf when you have a short time to respond but in-person interpreting is often preferred.
If you include registration for events, add a question about needing accommodations. If someone submits a request, consider arranging for an in-person interpreter for that event. For longer events, you'll need 2 interpreters.
For large, group events open to the public consider arranging and advertising that sign language interpreters will be present.
For long term relationships with an individual who is Deaf, discuss with them what they prefer.
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