All people – whether deaf or hearing - have strong desire for clear and effective communication. Effective communication occurs when both parties to a conversation clearly understand each other and have a meaningful conversation.
It is our goal to ensure that the method being used to bridge the communication gap between hearing and the deaf is culturally affirmative and linguistically accessible for the deaf or hard of hearing person.
Since few hearing people have real experiences with deafness, it is the responsibility of the deaf or hard of hearing individual to let businesses or agencies know the specific accommodation they are requesting. Such requests must also give a business or agency a reasonable amount of time to provide the accommodation.
Often, providers try to use “note-passing” as a communication accommodation. This will rarely provide effective communication because it requires a high proficiency level in the English language. When a deaf person uses American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language, they will usually not be proficient in the English language. For example, you may notice that their written “notes” may appear illegible or incoherent. ASL and it does not easily translate into English because it has a different grammar and word order. ASL signers may have difficulty in understanding your notes as well. Hence, writing notes will not be an effective means of communication, especially when the situation is complicated or when it involves medical, financial, or legal issues.
Effective communication also requires that cultural differences are understood between the parties to the conversation. Being deaf results in a different lifestyle than “hearing” people are accustomed to. This can lead to misunderstandings if the differences are not appreciated. It is therefore helpful to comprehend the confluence of the values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, history, folklore, institutions, and experiences shared by deaf people. One of the most important unifying traits of Deaf culture is the use of American Sign Language. This language includes shared values, norms, traditions, history, and experiences which strengthens and emphasizes the linguistic minority status of the Deaf community.
If effective communication is provided through a sign language interpreter, there are some things to remember. First, an interpreter must be qualified. A qualified interpreter is an interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary. Do not use family members, children or friends as interpreters. Just because a family member or friend can sign, does not make them a qualified interpreter. There also may be issues of emotional involvement and confidentiality to consider.
You’re one-step closer ensuring effective communication is occurring today, call for a sign language interpreter! Click here to request an interpreter.
25 East Frisco Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
All times are in Central Standard Time (CST)
Interpreter Requests ...................... (314) 968-8868
Toll Free ......................................... (888) 898-DEAF
Fax ................................................. (314) 968-8872
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We have interpreters on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. We will always do everything in our power to find you an interpreter - no matter when you call. Rates are lowest during business hours, but we will always try to keep the prices low while maintaining high professional standards.
Call: (314) 968-8868
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