Deaf Interpreters (DI) are highly skilled and trained Deaf professionals who are recognized by and affiliated with provincial agencies such as Ontario Interpreting Services (OIS). A Deaf Interpreter (DI) facilitates communication between a Deaf person, a hearing person and an ASL-English interpreter using their native language, American Sign Language (ASL). A Deaf Interpreter may also facilitate communication between two signed languages.
A Deaf interpreter (DI) uses their native sign language, along with gestures and other communication strategies, to foster culturally and linguistically appropriate interpretation for consumers. In Canada, American Sign Language (ASL) and la Langue des Signes Québécois (LSQ) are the national signed languages used. In addition, Canada also has two regional varieties of signed language – Inuit Sign Language (ISL) and Maritime Sign Language (MSL).
Deaf Interpreters provide service in a wide variety of settings and situations. These are often settings where the outcomes can have serious and long lasting impacts such as
Consumers who benefit from the services of a Deaf Interpreter include, but are not limited to
In addition, Deaf consumers with fluent language use may also benefit from the services of a Deaf Interpreter. A Deaf Interpreter possesses a native comprehension of Deaf life experiences, which are unfamiliar to the hearing interpreter. Deaf Interpreters may work as part of a team with a hearing interpreter.
As a team, the interpreters will
A Deaf Interpreter may also work without a hearing interpreter. A Deaf Interpreter may work alone or in a group of Deaf Interpreters when
The Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) is the national professional association for sign language interpreters. Deaf Interpreters who are members of AVLIC are required to follow the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct which focuses on
(Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) Position Paper on Deaf Interpreters, 2015.)
Whether you are contracting with an interpreter who operates an independent business or with a referral agency, securing interpreting services is a business transaction. There are a number of factors and terms that need to be discussed and negotiated.
The following factors will help a Deaf Interpreter determine if they are qualified for the assignment
If the Deaf Interpreter deems themselves to be qualified, the following terms will need to be confirmed
In some circumstances, it may be useful to have a signed service agreement outlining mutually agreed upon terms. In other circumstances, emails clearly laying out terms prior to confirming the booking may be sufficient. Many Deaf interpreters work as independent contractors. For this reason, there are variations among business practices.
Because of the increasing demand for Deaf interpretation, the availability of many interpreters fills up very quickly. For this reason, OASLI suggests that you contact and secure a Deaf Interpreter a minimum of 2-3 weeks ahead of the actual appointment.
If you are looking for a Deaf Interpreter, please see our Directory of OASLI Interpreters where you can search alphabetically for OASLI members.