Video Remote Interpreting for American Sign Language (ASL)

By: Dr Cliff Olson
July 13, 2019
Video Transcript

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Title 2 entities like State and Local Governments, & Title 3 entities like Businesses and Non-profits to be able to communicate effectively with individuals who have communication disabilities.If you or someone you know requires American Sign Language to communicate effectively, you have rights under the ADA that require these entities to provide you with ASL services.  

Even if you are in an area with no access to in-person interpreters.One of the best ways to do this is to use Video Remote Interpreting (VRI).  VRI uses Video conferencing technology to access an off-site interpreter to provide real-time sign language or oral interpreting services for conversations between hearing people and people who are deaf or have hearing loss.  In my clinic, I prefer to use a HIPPA Compliant VRI service called ACA Video Remote Interpreting: .

Not only can they provide Regular VRI services, but they can also provide Medical VRI services which uses interpreters that have an extensive medical vocabulary and have gone through specialized ASL training to ensure that they are more qualified to interpret in a number of medical setting.  The session you are seeing here is me performing a hearing aid fitting with a patient who primarily uses ASL to communicate.  The webcam with integrated microphone on top of my monitor lets the interpreter see my patient, and hear me talking at the same time so they know what to sign to my patient.  

Meanwhile, my patient can clearly see the interpreter who is using ASL to communicate what I am saying.  If a patient isn’t able to verbally communicate with me, the interpreter can relay what the patient is signing back to me.  Having a High Quality Monitor & Webcam, & access High Speed internet are very important when using Video Remote Interpreting, and if the setup is done well, a Remote Video Session like this one, can be just as effective as having an in-person interpreter in the office.  

While VRI services don't require an actual interpreter on site, it is always a good idea to let the business you will be visiting know in advance if you require ASL interpreting services.  So if you require American Sign Language to communicate effectively, you can easily receive ASL services even if you live in the middle of nowhere.

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