When Is An Interpreter Needed?

When Is It Appropriate To Request A Qualified Interpreter?
Conversational fluency in any language is vastly different from the process of professional interpreting. When the conversation is short and simple, using a family member or a pad and pencil to converse back and forth for people who are deaf may be acceptable. However, if the conversation will be long, complex or require specialized terminology, a qualified interpreter is required. Because spoken communication takes place at a rate of 125 to 230 words per minute, professional interpreters are trained to deliver a smooth, accurate and impartial interpretation, while a person who is merely fluent in any language is not and therefore cannot.

Why Is It Important To Provide An Interpreter?
A persons right to an interpreter begins with the request. Federal regulations for users of various languages, spoken and signed, provide protection to ensure equal access to information. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin meanwhile, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), along with The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, recognizes the civil rights of people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

What Is A Sign Language Interpreter?
Professional sign language interpreters are facilitators of communication between individuals who are deaf and persons who are hearing. Sign language Interpreters interpret what is said verbally into one of many manual languages, depending on the deaf persons mode of communication. In turn, the interpreter will interpret into spoken English what the deaf person is signing, thus completing the circle of communication. Sign language is not a universal language. In the United States, interpreters use American Sign Language also known as ASL.

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