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Government Settings

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Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind, and Late-Deafened Consumers:

Interpreters can be needed for communication access to government related services, meetings, and events. If you are applying for social security benefits, meeting with your legislator, attending your town council meeting, or participating in a public forum, it is important that the interpreter is qualified to do the job. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA – a qualified interpreter is “an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any specialized vocabulary necessary for effective communication.”
See ADA Part 36.104 for this definition.

You have the right to communication access in government settings.  If you need a qualified interpreter, please give our contact information to the person in charge of communication access.

For more information about your rights to qualified interpreters in a government setting, visit the ADA Home page or the National Association of the Deaf website.

Local, State, and Federal Agency Staff, Legislators, and other Professionals in Government:

To make sure your varied services are accessible to all citizens, including those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf Blind, or late-deafened, you may need to provide interpreters. From applying for unemployment to processing a complex building permit, from securing public comment on a proposed program to allowing for constituents to meet with their legislators, from the dedication of a new library to the televised monthly commissioners’ meeting, it is critically important that the interpreter is qualified to do the job. In many cases, your specific need for interpreters does not justify hiring  full-time staff interpreters. Working with an experienced interpreting services provider to obtain services on an as-needed basis can help to make your communication accessibility a reasonable task.

Interpreters accept assignments based on their varied skill sets, depending on the type of interpreting needed: sign language is used with many who are Deaf or hard of hearing, tactile or close vision communication with many who are Deaf Blind, and oral transliteration with many who are late-deafened. In addition, a qualified Deaf Interpreter may be needed in situations involving children, or with someone who has limited formal language, limited cognitive function, or is from another country.

When you need a sign language, tactile, or oral interpreter for full communication access to government services, always work with a qualified interpreter.

For more information on the need for a Deaf Interpreter:
See the Standard Practice Paper published by RID.



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