Sign Language Interpreters

Many people have questions about sign language interpreters. Below is some basic information about sign language interpreters and how to work with one. More detailed information about sign language interpreters will be provided in future posts.

What does a sign language interpreter do?

• Allow more direct communication.
• Improve communication accuracy and avoid misunderstandings.
• Decrease frustrations.
• Raise the “comfort level” of those interacting.
• Facilitate more complete communication, so that both individuals feel free to ask questions and offer more in-depth explanations.
• Save time
• Make clear any non-verbal communication

How do you work with a sign language interpreter?

The interpreter makes communication possible between persons separated by different language modes. Listed below are some tips on how to work with an interpreter.

• First remember the interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication. It is inappropriate for you to address him/her directly.
• Maintain eye contact with the deaf person, not with the interpreter.
• Allow the interpreter to position themselves near you, this will allow the deaf person to watch the interpreter and your expressions as needed.
• Address the deaf person directly, avoid phrases such as, “ask her this…”, or “tell him to . . .” Talk through, not to, the interpreter.
• The interpreter is bound by a Code of Ethics which requires him/her to interpret everything communicated, whether it be signed or spoken. This includes any phone calls or comments you make in the deaf person’s presence. It is inappropriate for you to request the interpreter to keep anything from the deaf person
• In situations of a serious nature, the use of a deaf person’s close friend or family member as an interpreter is inappropriate.


About signsoflifeasl

Ashley and Taylor aim to bridge the gap between the Hearing World and the Deaf World by creating awareness of Deaf Culture and teaching sign language through written word as well as signed videos (captioned for the signing-impaired.) Using humor and fun, Ashley and Taylor hope to make learning a new language and culture a fantastic experience for everyone! Ashley is a deaf individual whose major is in Communication with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Organization Communication. She is a double minor in Psychology and Human Development. For Grad School, she plans to get her Masters degree in Social Work and hopes to advocate for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Ashley is fluent in written and spoken English, as well as ASL and written German. She is the President of the Sign Language Club at her college. Taylor is a Hearing individual who is thinking about becoming a Special Education Teacher for young children. Her mother is an interpreter and Taylor has grown up learning about ASL and deaf culture, and is currently learning sign from both Ashley and her mother.
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1 Response to Sign Language Interpreters

  1. Pingback: When Will They Ever Learn… | deafinprison

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