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presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Overview: Part 2
† Review † Varieties

of sign language † Your library·s legal obligations in serving deaf patrons † Finding, hiring, and working with interpreters † Video Relay Service † Q&A

What is the most important factor in creating successful library experiences for deaf patrons?
† Signing

ability † Access to technology † Attitude † Having a TTY

What is American Sign Language?
a) b) c)


A universal visual-gestural system A way of expressing English on your hands A visual-gestural language with its own grammar and syntax. A tool to help children learn English

What is American Sign Language?

A universal visual-gestural system A way of expressing English on your hands A visual-gestural language with its own grammar & syntax. A tool to help children learn English




QUESTION Where have you seen sign language interpreters working?

Signing Varieties
American Sign Language: a real language Signed English: an artificial system which uses some ASL signs with English grammar and syntax PSE (Pidgin Signed English): a mixture of ASL and Signed English Why this is important to know

ANSWERS Where have you seen sign language interpreters working?

Possible Interpreting Settings in the Library
Storytimes (for parent and/or child) Bookclubs Other programs Board meetings Job interviews Staff meetings Trainings Meetings with manager Telephone

Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act
Requires the provision of qualified interpreters for services provided by state and local governments, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and private entities related to educational and occupational certification. These places must ´furnish auxiliary aids when necessary to ensure effective communication, unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would resultµ

´Qualified Interpretersµ
Interpreters may hold national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, or the National Association of the Deaf.

(Comprehensive Skills Certificate) † CI/CT (Certificate of Interpreting/Certificate of Transliterating) † NAD I, II, III, IV † NIC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master (National Interpreter Certification) ² now streamlined to only NIC

´Qualified Interpretersµ
Some interpreters may hold certification from state quality-assurance programs, such as EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) Some states require certification or licensure for interpreters to work Chart of state regulations concerning interpreters: 4.htm

The Reality:
There are only about 9,500 nationally certified ASL interpreters in the United States In most areas, no certification is required to work as an interpreter Non-certified does not necessarily mean unqualified Most agencies have their own screening tools

What do ASL interpreters do?
Facilitate communication between deaf AND hearing people. Facilitate cross-cultural communication Terminology: † Interpreter vs. translator † Interpreter vs. signer † Interpreter vs. transliterator Specialized types of interpreting/transliterating † Deaf-Blind † Relay † Minimal Language Skills † Oral

A Brief Example

The Code of Professional Conduct



4) 5)

6) 7)

Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication. Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation. Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation. Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers. Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession. Interpreters maintain ethical business practices. Interpreters engage in professional development.

Finding and Hiring Interpreters
Freelancers vs. Agencies RID Interpreter/Agency Locater Tool: How to determine what you need
† Consumer

requirements † Type of assignment † Length of assignment † Number of consumers involved

Interpreters: Standard Practices
A 2-hour minimum is charged for all assignments. Assignments over 2 hours, or very difficult content, will require a team of 2 interpreters. Assignments cancelled with less than 24-48 hours· notice are charged at the full rate. The interpreter will arrive 15 minutes early. Standard rates vary depending on freelance status, area, type of assignment, and certification. For more information about standard interpreter practices, see the Standard Practice Papers at

When Hiring an Interpreter, Provide:
Date and time of assignment Setting (storytime, board meeting, etc) The length of the assignment Number of deaf/hard of hearing and hearing people involved Deaf consumers· name(s) (if known) Contact person·s name and phone number/email Directions and parking instructions As much content info as possible (outline, agenda, program, video, etc)

When working with an interpreter:
Allow time beforehand for the interpreter to preconference with the presenter. Work with the interpreter to determine best placement and sight lines Work out how issues such as turn-taking and clarification will be handled Remember that the interpreter will interpret everything he/she sees and hears! Look at and speak directly to the deaf person/people.

When working with an interpreter:
Remember that the interpreter will be using processing time and will be slightly behind the speaker. Allow for this when asking questions, etc. If visual information, such as a PowerPoint, is used, allow time for the deaf person to look at both it and the interpreter. Remember that the interpreter will need breaks! Let the interpreter be an interpreter, not a participant. Don·t walk in front of the interpreter.

A Model for Access: The Community Access Partnership
This initiative of the Hearing and Speech Agency in Baltimore, MD matches interpreting interns, paired with interpreter mentors, to local libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations to broaden access to cultural programming for the Deaf community. Win-Win-Win:
† Interpreting

interns gain experience in various settings † Libraries and cultural institutions provide greater access † Deaf community members are more included † For more information, see

The Community Access Partnership
´This free service not only helps in the professional training of sign language interpreters, but is a wonderful outreach to the deaf community, who may be more encouraged to attend BCPL programs.µ ²Kathy Casserly, Baltimore
County Public Library, Youth Services Specialist

Video Relay Service
What is Video Relay Service (VRS)?

is a federally-funded videotelecommunication service that allows videophone users and voice telephone users to communicate through a sign language interpreter. † Service is free to users and is available 24/7 † Private companies provide the equipment and service, and are reimbursed for interpreted minutes by the FCC

How VRS Works


More About VRS

vs TTY (teletypewriter) Relay Services † The FCC now requires VRS companies to provide videophone users with a 10-digit telephone number that will connect hearing callers to an interpreter automatically. † Voice Carryover (VCO): for videophone users who wish to use their own voices during the call † Spanish Language VRS service is also available.

Using Video Relay Service
Receiving a VRS call Making a VRS call Things to Know:
† Speak

directly to the deaf person † Allow time for the interpreting process † Be careful with long account numbers, especially if they also include letters † Be clear about local information, as your interpreter may be in another state


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