Sign Language Interpreting


Photo by Harvey Finkle © 2014

Sign Language Interpreting makes communication possible between deaf/hard of hearing and people who can hear.  Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills in both English and American Sign Language(ASL).  Sign Language interpreting, like spoken language interpreting, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a signed representation of that English word.

An interpreter’s work begins before arriving at the job site.  The interpreter prepares and familiarizes with the material the speakers will be discussing.  This task will involve research on terminology, semantics, concepts and any topic related words and phrases.

When a deaf or hard of hearing individual expresses the need for a sign language interpreter, it is the responsibility of the entity providing services, employment, or entertainment to accommodate that request.  Quality of interpreting service is determined by all parties involved.  Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, payment for interpreting services usually falls to the host business or organization rather than the deaf person.