Which is correct, "Hearing Impaired" or "Deaf and Hard of Hearing"?
People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing prefer to be called "deaf" or "hard of hearing." The term "hearing impaired" is viewed as negative. The term focuses on what people cannot do. It establishes the standard as "hearing" and anything different as "impaired," or substandard, hindered, or damaged. It implies that something is not as it should be and ought to be fixed if possible. To be fair, this is probably not what people intended to convey by the term "hearing impaired."
Why would I need a sign language interpreter when a Deaf client can read lips and write well?
Reading lips is an extremely challenging skill to master. Only 30% of speech is visible on the lips which leaves 70% of speech to be guessed. Many speech sounds have identical mouth movements. Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals may miss the full meaning of the conversation. American Sign Language (ASL) is very different from English. ASL is not a spoken nor audio language. It's a visual language using the hands. Depending on the situation, liability issues should be of great concern. Utilizing the skills of a professional interpreter is the best choice for accurate and effective communication with a deaf or hard of hearing individual.
What if I use a family member to interpret for the deaf client?
Using a family member is not highly recommended and inappropriate that would affect a medical facility or place of business is the question of the family member's knowledge on the medical terminology and emotions. It can be a risk for miscommunications, issues of safety, and medical errors. Family members do not have the sign language skills or vocabulary necessary to provide effective communication in professional situations. Professional interpreters are highly skills and nationally/state certified in sign language.
Can I use someone that knows some sign language to interpret for the deaf client?
No. This person may communicate in sign language; however, this person may not have the proper trainings, knowledge, or skill set necessary to function as an interpreter. Interpreting is very complex task that requires more than just knowing some language. The process of translating a message from one language to another requires a high level of proficiency in both languages, as well as knowing principles of accurate interpretation. A coworker, or someone who is responsible for other duties in your workplace, should not be put in the position of interpreting for a deaf colleague or client in a professional setting.
Sign language interpreters are highly trained professionals who have passed written and performance exams through Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and hold credentials. They render the message accurately, remaining impartial and adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct, which includes confidentiality.
Why should I hire a sign language interpreter?
Sign language interpreters facilitate to communicate between hearing user and deaf or hard of hearing user to make communication clear and effective that can prevent from resulting legal liability.
Who certifies a sign language interpreter?
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is the leading organization in establishing a national standard of quality for sign language interpreters. They do the testing and rating for sign language interpreters nationally. Certified sign language interpreters are bound by a Code of Ethics for confidentiality, impartiality, and professionalism to ensure a true and accurate interpretation through RID.
What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and why would I need one?
The sign language interpreters who are Deaf themselves, have been trained to interpret for Deaf patients who may have a little knowledge or none to American Sign Language (ASL). For instance, a deaf individual from other country moves in America and is not fluent and uses a mixture of gesture/body language/home signs or minimal language skills, preventing them from using ASL, a CDI would work with a certified sign language interpreter to facilitate communication between the Deaf individual and the hearing person.
What ethical standards are your service providers expected to abide by?
Sign language interpreters who are members of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and National Association of the Deaf (NAD) abide by the Professional Code of Conduct. NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct can be found at
If you have any concerns about an ethical situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 813-785-1214 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Who is responsible for paying the sign language interpreter?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990) states, "A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on a particular individual with disability, or any group of individuals with disabilities." Therefore, the service provider is responsible for payment.
How do I request a sign language interpreter?
Call us or text us anytime at 813-785-1214, we are available anytime 24 | 7 | 365
Fax at 813-200-3469 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org