Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions about the interpreting profession or about Unspoken? Find out here!

Unspoken believes in providing exceptional interpreting services. Though all services are final, in the rare occurrence that you are dissatisfied with our services, please contact us to let us make the situation right.
If interacting with deaf people through Sign Language interpreters is an infrequent event, not to worry. We have outlined a few expectations so that you are better prepared for the environment's dynamics. To avoid any further communication complications, uncomfortable interactions, or potentially offending the deaf consumer, here are some basic rules to follow.
During the process of interpreting a verbal language into a physical one, ASL interpreters become susceptible to both physical and mental fatigue. After one hour of interpreting alone, even some of the best sign language interpreters decrease in the quality of service. A team of interpreters ensures your deaf consumer receives high-level language access throughout the duration of the conference.

There are several laws in place that support the use of Sign Language interpreters. These laws make it possible for Deaf and hard of hearing people obtain access to their education, employment, and overall environment. Below lists a few federal laws that provide guidance on how to ensure your business is in compliance with providing "reasonable accommodations".

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973- Section 504

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Free Appropriate Public Education

No. For most interpreting settings, you will need to hire a Hearing Sign Language Interpreter- one who speaks English and interprets for Deaf people using Sign Language.

Requesting a Deaf Interpreter is often confused with the need for a traditional Sign Language interpreter. Naturally so, but Deaf Interpreters or Certified Deaf Interpreters are used in the field of interpreting to provide a formal connection between a Deaf person with limited ASL usage or minimum language skills (MLS) and a Hearing Sign Language interpreter.

CDIs are often used in critical traumatic medical situations or police interrogations and depending on the deaf individual, they may communicate better with the use of a Certified Deaf Interpreter, especially if they are deaf immigrants whose first language is not ASL. When you hire a CDI, you also require a Hearing Sign Language interpreter to interpret from sign to spoken English for the Certified Deaf Interpreter. LEARN MORE!

As part of the business agreement with an interpreter or service provider, you will need to provide the following information to help the interpreter achieve the overall communication goal:

  •  Services requestors’ name, telephone number, email address and the agency/organization requesting services.
  •  Date, time and the duration of the appointment.
  •  Location of assignment (address, directions, floor, building #, etc.)
  •  Nature and format of the meeting (i.e. medical appointment, lecture, staff meeting, therapy session, etc.)
  •  Names of deaf participants and hearing participants, if pertinent.
  •  Name of onsite contact person.
  •  Materials pertaining to a given assignment as needed (agenda and/or presentation materials).

RID believes that when interpreters and service providers conduct themselves in a professional manner, all parties gain a clear understanding of interpreting business practices.