Sign Language Connection is proud to use the services of qualified Deaf interpreters. The majority of hearing interpreters are not native signers. As second language users, it is often beneficial to team with a native signer. Deaf interpreters work in conjunction with hearing interpreters to maximize communication.

Why use a Deaf interpreter?

A Certified Deaf Interpreter may be needed when the communication mode of a Deaf consumer is so unique that it cannot be adequately accessed by interpreters who are hearing. Some such situations may involve individuals who:

  • use idiosyncratic non-standard signs or gestures such as those commonly referred to as "home signs" which are unique to a family
  • use a foreign sign language
  • have highly visual or limited communication skills
  • are deaf-blind or deaf with limited vision
  • use signs particular to a given region, ethnic or age group
  • have characteristics reflective of Deaf Culture not familiar to hearing interpreters.

What skills and training are needed?

In addition to excellent general communication skills and general interpreter training, the CDI may also have specialized training and/or experience in use of gesture, mime, props, drawings and other tools to enhance communication. The CDI has an extensive knowledge and understanding of deafness, the deaf community, and/or Deaf culture which combined with excellent communication skills, can bring added expertise into both routine and uniquely difficult interpreting situations.

What are the benefits to us?

The benefits of using a Certified Deaf Interpreter are:

  • optimal understanding by all parties
  • efficient use of time and resources
  • clarification of linguistic and/or cultural confusion and misunderstanding(s).

Where is a Deaf interpreter used?

There are vast numbers of environments where a Deaf interpreter could be used. To date, SLC has used Deaf interpreters in the courtroom and other legal venues, medical and mental health settings, classrooms, for large audiences of Deaf people, theatre, and with individuals who are deaf and blind.

In some situations, Deaf interpreters can be used to monitor the hearing interpreters' message. In these situations, the hearing interpreter carries the main responsibility for communication, but if errors are made or if there are apparent misunderstandings, the Deaf interpreter can serve to clarify the message. The need for a Deaf interpreter is based on the hearing interpreter's recommendations and/or the Deaf consumers' requests.

Will I be charged for the Deaf interpreter?

Yes. Our rates for this service follow our standard rate structure