Working with an Interpreter
When you call the interpreter to schedule an appointment, be aware that the interpreter may ask questions about the assignment. This is so they can have enough information to provide an accurate interpretation. It also assists them in determining if their skill level is a match for the assignment.
Direct your communication to your consumer and speak in the first person. The interpreter is a conduit for the communication that you are providing to your consumer, and that the person to whom you are communicating.
Allow time for interpretation. Speak slowly and clearly. The communication must be accurately interpreted from one language into another. This takes time.
Is it a violation of HIPAA to use a Sign Language Interpreter?
No. According to the US Department of Health and Social Services, "A covered health care provider might use interpreter services to communicate with patients who speak a language other than English or who are deaf or hard of hearing, and provision of interpreter services usually will be a health care operations function of the covered entity as defined at 45 CFR 164.501."
Will the Sign Language Interpreter keep my client's information confidential?
Yes. Sign Language Interpreters certified by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) or Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) are held by very high standards and abide by a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct which outline the importance of confidentiality and privacy practices in their profession.
Who pays for the interpreter services?
Any entity which is obligated by law (ADA, Section 504) to provide accommodations for their services must incur the costs associated with such provisions. Such entities can include:
- Places of employment
- Medical service providers
- Federal, state, and municipal government entities
- Public and private agencies and service providers
- Educational institutions
- Performances and events open to the public (whether publicly or privately funded)