Since 2020, world communication has transformed so differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It became too much online: from doctor’s appointments to school lessons and business meetings. This period and special circumstances changed our communication fundamentally. We are spending much more time on our smartphones and online calls from laptops or computers. Communication changed for the Deaf or hard-of-hearing communities as well. Even before the pandemic, this segment of the population had obstacles to getting complete services, communication, and care. Fortunately, American Sign Language helps Deaf or hard-of-hearing people to receive access to all interactions they need with the help of video connection or onsite meetings.
Homeland Language Services has an experienced team of American Sign Language interpreters. They provide services both onsite in schools and healthcare institutions. Together with that, we can provide interpretation services online with the help of video calls. This way the American Sign Language interpretation is available to everyone in any part of the world.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a primary language of communication in Deaf or hard-of-hearing communities. About one million people in the USA use ASL as their primary means of communication. Meetings or appointments, accompanied by American Sign Language interpreters, signage, and verbal approaches right on point, the communication can be timely and concise.
Best practices for onsite American Sign Language interpreting:
– One of the most essential things for onsite ASL interpreting is to ensure that the interpreter can be in the position directly in the line of sight of the Deaf or hard-of-hearing client. The ASL interpreter clearly should override everything else.
– The interpreter should be aware of the nature of the client’s visit. The client can be in a psychiatric crisis or under COVID-19 or similar precautions, so he/shewould require the interpreter to maintain more physical distance from the client.
– The client should tell his preferences for interpreter gender because some healthcare conversations are sensitive.
– The video device should be set up so the client/patient can see the screen and their hands clearly.
– Take into account, that Deaf or hard-of-hearing clients may also have visual impairments, so the screen should be positioned appropriately.
– During the video call eliminate background noise, and make sure that the room has enough light.
– The English-speaking representative should speak directly to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing client, not the interpreter. The English-speaking representative should speak at a normal pace and tone.
– In case there will be printed documents or written material at the meeting, there should be copies for all participants.