A skilled sign language interpreter makes it easier for people to talk to each other in both signed and spoken languages. These trained people turn spoken languages like English into sign languages like American Sign Language that are easier for deaf, deaf-blind, or hard-of-hearing people to understand. Interpreters with nationwide ASL interpreting services are skilled in many kinds of sign language, including all the grammatical differences.

An ASL interpreter is the best way for someone who can’t hear and someone who can hear to talk to each other. When encountering a deaf person in your North Carolina business, your first thought may be to write or text the person with hearing loss to talk to them. However, this isn’t always possible. In some cases, it could make things worse. Instead of risking unsuccessful communication with your deaf customers, consider hiring an ASL interpreting service.

If you want to hire an ASL interpreter, there are a lot of things to think about. Here are some practical tips to help you choose a qualified sign language interpreting service for your communication needs. Plus, these tips can help ensure your North Carolina business is getting its money’s worth!

Deaf or HoH person at her workplace using a Video Relay Service to communicate with a hearing person via a video interpreter and sign language IMG 2954
Deaf or HoH person at her workplace using a Video Relay Service to communicate with a hearing person via a video interpreter and sign language IMG 2954” by Sign Video is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Look Into Their Fees

The hourly pricing of a qualified American Sign Language interpreter ranges, but remember; you get what you pay for. The fees are based on the level of expertise and certification of the interpreter and the type of interpretation assignment. You can engage in pricing negotiation directly with the agency or interpreter you have contacted about their services.

An interpreter can request payment for travel-related expenses such as mileage, parking, or travel time. Some may have the policy that if the service is canceled less than a few hours in advance, the customer would be charged for half of the assignment. Therefore, before choosing an interpreter, you need to discuss all of your expectations in detail with them.

Look Into Their Qualifications

Quality should be your top priority for your North Carolina business when looking for a company that provides professional American Sign Language interpreting services. A minimum of a Bachelor of Arts degree in either American Sign Language or Sign Language Interpreting is required in the United States to meet the criteria for becoming a licensed interpreter. 

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf is the ideal location to start looking for a high-quality sign language interpreting firm for your company or group. This wonderful resource lists a range of local organizations specializing in providing sign language interpreters. As a result, you can rest easy knowing that the provided interpreter possesses the necessary qualifications and expertise.

You might also ask the person with hearing loss if they have a preferred sign language interpreter or agency they prefer to work with. This helps to guarantee that the provided services satisfy the individual’s requirements for effective communication.

Reputation is Important

If you have been running a business for any length of time in North Carolina, you know how important reputation is. The same concept holds for nationwide ASL interpreters. Look into the reputation of the potential interpreting agency you’re about to hire. You’ll get a good notion of how trustworthy and invested in the community the agency is.

A stellar reputation in American Sign Language Interpreting indicates that an ASL Interpreting agency has successfully addressed the communication demands of its deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing customers in the past. If they don’t meet those needs, chances are you are going to be told by members of the deaf community to steer clear of them. This is why it’s crucial to talk to those who use ASL interpreting services about recommendations. 

Asking a sign language interpreting firm for a couple of references from people in the deaf community, not the clients they are working for, is the most effective approach to determine whether or not the agency has a good reputation. These people are the ones who rely on their services. These individuals have a considerably higher probability of being competent to evaluate and be honest in their reports regarding the providers of a sign language interpreting service as well as their previous performance. Simply questioning managers and supervisors inside the organization about the services the translating agency provides would not give you a very accurate picture of those services.

Context and Confidentiality

Professional sign language interpreters spend time planning and studying to ensure they are ready for everything that may arise during an assignment. Even more important, the interpreting service should recommend someone who has previous expertise and a solid foundation in the field in which your company operates. 

Any ASL interpreting service that does not adhere to these industry-accepted best practice standards is jeopardizing both you and your company. Make sure that the local sign language interpreting service you work with has your best interests at heart and is located in your area. You should avoid getting your services from a company that offers a one-size-fits-all solution because these companies are frequently unaware of the credentials and expertise of their providers.

In addition to the context, another component that plays a role in decision-making is privacy. Suppose you work with an ASL interpreting company that understands professional ethics. In that case, you can rest certain that anything revealed or discussed before and after your services will be held in the strictest confidence.

Final Thoughts

The steps you should take when selecting a sign language interpreting agency are not unlike those you should take when thinking about any other kind of professional collaboration; the rules are still the same. For your organization’s communication needs to be met, you have to put your faith in a company that has a history of involvement in the Deaf community and that possesses the appropriate credentials, knowledge, and reputation. You shouldn’t just pick the first listing you find on Google. 

When you choose an ASL interpreting service like Unspoken Language Services, you can rest assured that you are getting quality interpreters and building a lasting connection with a local sign language interpreting firm. This can save you time, concern, and maybe even money in the long run. Most significantly, it will ensure that everyone with hearing loss has equitable access to your company! Contact the professionals at Unspoken Language Services today to see how we make sure your North Carolina business is getting more than its money’s worth using professional interpreters who work hard to bridge that communication gap!

Thumbnail Photo Credit to: “Significant Developments” by Montage Communications is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.