In 2019, approximately 125,000 people with disabilities lived in Hawaii, representing approximately 8.7% of the state’s population. Hawaii is famous for its tourism and thriving economy, it attracts people from all over the world, making it a key economic hub. Being strategically located, with a multicultural population and a favorable tax environment, it offers numerous benefits to businesses. The state’s economy is driven by industries such as tourism, healthcare, education, and technology, with the latter experiencing significant growth in recent years. Despite its cultural diversity, Hawaii businesses overall still have barriers that need to be addressed. This is particularly true for those who rely on American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate.
While Hawaii businesses are actively trying to improve their inclusivity and diversity, many are still not equipped to handle the unique communication needs of the deaf and hard of hearing.
The biggest challenge the deaf and hard of hearing community in Hawaii face is communication barriers. These barriers can limit the community’s ability to participate fully in society, including the workforce.
This is where nationwide ASL interpreting services can play a vital role. By providing Hawaii businesses with access to ASL interpreting services, they can create an inclusive environment that not only benefits the deaf and hard of hearing community but also the businesses themselves.
Nationwide ASL interpreting services
An ASL interpreting service is a professional service that provides qualified interpreters to facilitate communication between individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who can hear. Nationwide ASL interpreting service provides services across multiple locations across the country. These services are usually provided remotely or on-site by a team of qualified ASL interpreters, who facilitate communication between hard of hearing individuals and hearing individuals in a variety of settings.
Some of the remote interpreting services include video remote interpreting (VRI) and over-the-phone interpreting (OPI). In addition to interpreting services, some organizations may also offer training and consultation services to help businesses and institutions better understand and accommodate the needs of deaf individuals.
Benefits of Nationwide ASL interpreting services
- Diverse Workforce
By using nationwide interpreting services, businesses can attract and retain a more diverse workforce. Many deaf and hard of hearing individuals struggle to find employment, and when they do, they often face communication barriers that prevent them from performing their jobs to the best of their abilities. By using nationwide ASL interpreting services, Hawaii businesses can break down these barriers and provide deaf and hard of hearing individuals with equal opportunities to excel in their roles.
- Customer experience
Hawaii businesses that prioritize accessibility and inclusion are more likely to create a positive reputation within the community. This can lead to greater customer loyalty and increased revenue. By accommodating the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, businesses can enhance their customer experience and create a more inclusive environment for all.
- Effective communication
By utilizing nationwide ASL interpreting services, Hawaii businesses can improve workplace communication and as a result, productivity. Communication is key to any successful business, and by providing ASL interpreting services, businesses can ensure that all employees can communicate effectively with one another. This can lead to increased productivity, fewer misunderstandings, and ultimately, better business outcomes.
- Competitive edge
Hawaii businesses that offer ASL interpreting services will have a competitive edge in the marketplace. Customers are increasingly looking for businesses that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity, and by offering ASL interpreting services, businesses can set themselves apart from their competitors.
- Community benefits
Businesses offering ASL interpreting services can have a positive impact on the wider community. It can lead to greater social integration, reducing the isolation that deaf and hard of hearing individuals may experience. It can also improve the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, giving them the ability to participate fully in society, including the workforce.
It is important to note that providing ASL interpreting services is not just a matter of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Hawaii Disability Rights Center Act, but also a matter of creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals. Prioritizing accessibility and inclusion can lead to a better quality of life for everyone in the community, regardless of their abilities. While avoiding potential lawsuits or fines for non-compliance for Hawaii businesses.
Nationwide ASL interpreting services are critical in breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive environment for Hawaii businesses. By using these services, businesses can have a more diverse workforce, enhance customer experience, improve workplace communication and productivity, gain a competitive edge, and have a positive impact on the wider community.
Providing ASL interpreting services is not only a matter of compliance with disability rights laws but also a matter of prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals in the community. As Hawaii continues to grow as a multicultural hub while enjoying its economic success, businesses need to take a proactive approach to address the unique communication needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community. By doing so, they can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment that benefits everyone.
Businesses that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity are more likely to attract and retain customers with disabilities. In the US, people with disabilities have an estimated $490 billion in disposable income, and businesses that make themselves accessible can tap into this market. (Disability Statistics Center, 2021). There may be some costs associated with providing ASL interpreting services, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Most businesses will find that providing these services can lead to increased revenue and a better bottom line.
By utilizing nationwide ASL interpreting services, businesses can also take advantage of the flexibility of the services. These services can be received remotely or on-site, allowing businesses to choose the option that works best for their needs. And it also makes it possible to access a larger pool of qualified interpreters, including those who may not be available locally.
One such nationwide interpreting service is Unspoken Language Services, which offers interpreting services to help bridge the communication gap between the deaf and hearing communities.