• If a person is wearing a hearing aid, do not assume they can hear you.
• Before speaking, get the person’s attention by waving your hand slightly or gently tapping on their shoulder.
• When possible, please share any notes, outlines, or handouts with the interpreter in advance, or at the very least, provide a copy of these items to the interpreter during the assignment.
• Make sure the meeting is located in well-lit areas. It’s difficult for deaf and hard of hearing people to see the interpreter in dark areas. If, during the assignment, you plan to turn down the lights, remember to leave enough lighting on the interpreter.
• The interpreter may ask for specific seating/positioning to facilitate the best viewing angles for himself/herself and for the client.
• Minimize background noise and other distractions whenever possible. Deaf and hard of hearing people tend to absorb the surrounds to make up for their hearing loss.
• When writing notes with a variety of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who use sign language, you may notice that their written language may appear ineligible. This is due to the fact that their first language is American Sign Language (ASL) and it does not easily translate into English.
• Consider the documents and materials used in meetings. ASL users may not understand complex and jargon-filled context.
• Be aware that the interpreter should interpret everything said, so avoid discussing subjects you don’t wish the deaf/hard of hearing person to know.
• When using an interpreter, look and speak at the deaf person, not at the interpreter. The interpreter’s role is to be communication facilitator and be transparent in conversations.
• Do not use family members or children as interpreters. They may lack the vocabulary or the impartiality needed to interpret effectively.
• When separated from the person you are communicating with, avoid giving messages to the interpreter to relay at a later time to the individual.
• Do not schedule with the interpreter. Call the agency’s office to make the next appointment.
• Avoid asking the interpreter's opinion of the conversation's content. Interpreters follow a code of ethics that requires confidentiality and impartiality. If you want to know how things are going, speak to the deaf person and the interpreter will interpret your inquiry.
Interpreter Requests ...................... (314) 968-8868
Toll Free ......................................... (888) 898-DEAF
Fax ................................................. (314) 968-8872
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25 East Frisco Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
All times are in Central Standard Time (CST)
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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