Anointed Hands

Interpreting/Consulting Services for the Deaf

Lisa Warren

Native ASL User
RID Certified since 1987

Phone: 872-529-7446
VP: 317-493-0443

[email protected]

Is sign language the same all over the world?

No. American Sign Language (ASL) is used in the United States. It is a unique language with a distinct culture. Just as spoken languages have evolved throughout the world, various signed languages have also emerged in different parts of the world.

What are sign language interpreting services?

American Sign Language (ASL), the most common language used by Deaf persons, is a unique language. ASL interpreters are often key to open communication between persons who are Deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing. In an effort to increase communication and understanding between these two groups, Anointed Hands arranges for ASL interpreters to ensure successful communication between persons who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and hearing through the use of sign language.

Can Deaf people read lips?

Only a small percentage of the English language is speech readable. Many words look the same on the lips. What the mouth can form is only a small portion of speech reading. The other factors affecting speech reading ability are not visible in that manner.

Why can't we just communicate by writing back and forth?

Besides the enormous amount of time it takes, ASL has a completely different structure than English. A simple example would be the phrase "I'm going to the store tomorrow." In ASL that would be changed to "Tomorrow store I go to." There is no verb tense other than the initial declaration of time, past, present or future. The pronouns are included in the verb, and ASL has no articles (the, a, an). Plurals are shown by repetition of a sign. Adjectives are placed after the nouns they describe. Adverbs are in the body language and expressions that comprise most of the language, and it simply isn't possible to express in writing.

If written communication has been used in the past, do I have to provide an interpreter if one is requested?

Yes, written communication may not be the most effective auxiliary aide for every Deaf or hard-of-hearing person. The native language of Deaf individuals is American Sign Language. The linguistic structure is very different from the English language. If a person has used written communication in the past, it may have been because they were not aware of their rights to an interpreter, or because they felt comfortable with the subject matter and situation at that time. In most situations it is best to use a sign language interpreter to ensure overall communication accuracy and lessen the chance for misunderstandings for all participants 

Why can't the deaf person just bring a family member to interpret?

There are a number of factors that come into play — ethical concerns, privacy, security, emotions and, perhaps most important, liability. Especially in emergency situations, it would be highly unethical to place a family member in the middle of a communication process when they need to be focusing on personal matters. In addition, issues may come up that are inappropriate for a family member to be part of. Also, there is more danger of liability issues if a family member makes a mistake in the midst of stress or confusion. Incorrect medicine could be given, credit decisions could be misdirected and situations could go awry resulting in actions that could adversely affect the Deaf person's life. It could even result in serious illness, injury or death. Qualified interpreters, specifically appropriate for the situation presented, should always be employed to facilitate the most favorable results and avoid problems.

Someone in my office knows sign language. Can't that person interpret for us?

People with disabilities have the legal right to "qualified" interpreters, according to the meaning of that word in U.S. federal law. For example, interpreters are required to be impartial and to have a specific level of skills. For informal, brief, non-critical communication with deaf consumers (for example, taking an order in a restaurant, checking books out of the library, etc.) it is perfectly acceptable to be creative using signs, writing, miming, demonstration pictures and other ways to "talk." However, for any communication where accuracy for the deaf consumer, the hearing person, or both, is critical, an interpreter is required under law. You should ask, "Do you need an interpreter?" If the response is "yes," then you must provide one.

Why would I need two interpreters for one assignment?

Team interpreting is standard practice in this profession. Two or more interpreters work as equal members of a team, rotating at prearranged intervals and providing support and feedback to each other. Research shows that the longer the period of time the interpreter translates the less accurate and effective the service becomes. When an assignment is more than two hours, two interpreters are scheduled. They relieve each other approximately every 20 minutes to ensure the message is as accurate as possible for the full length of your assignment. In addition, using this "20/20" approach for an interpreting team ensures the professionals don't incur injuries that could put an early end to their career. Anointed Hands can assist you in determining the appropriate number of interpreters needed for your job.

Is the deaf person responsible for payment?

No. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a business or organization cannot charge a person with a disability for the cost of the accommodation; for example, a sign language interpreter. For more information refer to the ADA website.

When should I consider hiring an interpreter? 

An interpreter should be used whenever you want to accurately and efficiently convey information during official meetings, social events, disciplinary proceedings, telephone conferences or private phone calls. Using an interpreter ensures impartiality and confidentiality because everyone is able to participate equally, using his or her native language. 

Why Do I Need A Sign Language Interpreter? 

If you are a business owner or provide services to the public, chances are you will one day need to communicate with the Deaf, Deaf/Blind or Hard of Hearing. Anointed Hands is here to help you fill that need.

What is the difference between a person who knows sign language and an interpreter?

A person who knows sign language from a relative or has learned sign language through taking a few basic sign courses is a “signer”. This is a person who knows sign language and can communicate with Deaf people on a basic or fluent level but has not received adequate interpreting training. A majority of professional interpreters have received formal training through Interpreter Training Programs, advanced interpreting classes, and/or interpreting workshops. A professional interpreter has also been tested and/or evaluated with skill assessments and/or evaluations. 

Does the Law Require Me to Provide Reasonable Accommodation?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides people with disabilities the right to equal access and public accommodation. Indiana State Law also requires that businesses, organizations and government agencies make their services accessible to the Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and Hard of Hearing; check with your tax professional about federal tax incentives regarding interpreter expenses (IRS Title 26 Sections 44 and 190).

For more information regarding the Federal Law visit 

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