Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I, as a business, organization, or non-profit have to provide an interpreter?
Answer: Yes. Federal law holds businesses, organizations, and non-profits as the entity responsible for providing interpreter accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information, please reference: https://www.ada.gov/effective-comm.htm
To discuss your legal responsibilities, please reach out to Rocky Mountain ADA, as they serve as a local educational resource: https://rockymountainada.org
2. Who is responsible to pay for the interpreter?
Answer: The business, organization, or non-profit is responsible to provide and pay for sign language interpreters for appointments, public events, conferences, etc. The ADA views these accommodations as the cost of doing business. For further questions, please refer to Rocky Mountain ADA: https://rockymountainada.org
3. Why is there a two-hour-minimum if the appointment will only be 30 minutes?
Answer: As an industry standard, it is widely understood that the two-hour-minimum preserves the opportunity cost of an interpreter going to each appointment. It is preserving the opportunity cost of preparation, traveling to and from, sitting in the waiting room, etc. for one appointment compared to another alternative. This is a very true and practical reason; however, at A2SL the opportunity cost of the interpreter is not the sole purpose for this minimum. A time slot is also needed to protect the Deaf client. First, it hedges against rushed appointments; so that a typically hour-long appointment is not stuffed into a fast 15 minutes, just for the paying entity to save on interpreter costs. That would clearly be harmful to Deaf clients. With A2SL. the two-hour-minimum further acts as protection of complete time for Deaf and hearing consumers. Your two-hour-minimum is a TRUE two-hour-minimum. The time slot reserves an A2SL interpreter and their skill set for the entire allotted time, should it be needed. Some agencies may not have the interpreter reserved for the full two-hour-minimum. Rather, they will only have the interpreter reserved for the anticipated appointment time and still charge a full two hours. For example, if the appointment is expected to be from 10:00am-10:30am, they will allow the interpreter to be booked with another appointment at 11:00am and still charge the consumer from 10:00am-12:00pm. In that scenario, should the appointment run over, the interpreter might not be available to stay beyond 30 minutes because they've been booked twice within the same time slot, even though you'll still be charged for that full two hour time. We call the practice "double-booking." This practice is not fair to our hearing or Deaf consumers and therefore an interpreter double-booking within one two-hour minimum is not a practice our agency allows. Appointments that are expected to run short, often still run longer than the anticipated time. This is due to a variety of factors; discussion that was not planned, natural time lag with the use of an interpreter, sitting in a waiting room for an extended time, etc. At A2SL, you can be assured that an A2SL interpreter will be reserved for the full appointment and the appointment will not subsequently be cut short.
4. Why do I need two interpreters?
Answer: Appointments that are greater in complexity, sign intensive, or longer in length will require a team of two interpreters. This is to provide the clearest, most accurate interpretation for the clients. The interpreters will not be mentally fatigued or physically spread too thin; preventing the consequence of repetitive motion injury.
5. Why do I need a Deaf Interpreter (DI)? What do they do that the regular interpreter can't?
Answer: Deaf Interpreters are native language speakers who have the linguistic and cultural experiences critical to understanding a myriad of nuanced language uses that the typical hearing interpreter would struggle in comprehension. For example, Deaf Interpreters are commonly necessary when communicating with minors.
6. Do you call the Deaf client or patient for us? If not, how do we call them?
Answer: The agency will not call the Deaf client or patient on behalf of the business/office we are contracted with. If you are needing to speak with or schedule your client, simply call the phone number that they have listed. This will be automatically routed through a video relay service and be an interpreted call.
7. What certifications are recognized in the state of Colorado?
Answer: At this time, only the Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf is recognized to certified sign language interpreter. The Board Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) certification is not currently recognized in Colorado.
- Colorado legal qualified interpreters have the additional specialized education plus legal internship training to be qualified to interpret for courts, client-attorney meetings, legal documents, mirandize, etc.
The legal qualified list is available at: https://ccdhh.com/index.php/las/
- Though they may/may not be certified, service providers who have passed the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) along with Colorado Department of Ed. approval and background check can work in K-12 schools.