Many times deaf people find it hard to get the services they deserve to communicate in public places or at business offices. The ADA Laws dictate that any business or medical facility is legally required to provide these services. However, for many americans who are deaf or hard of hearing this is still an ongoing struggle. Many hospitals are very aware of these needs and have systems in place to provide these services, but most other businesses do not.
Finding businesses that do provide services for deaf individuals can be a real challenge in some cases. If a hearing person wants to go to car dealerships and shop around for a new car it is easy. This is not the case for deaf and hard of hearing people. They have to use a video phone to call ahead using an interpreter to voice for them. Then they have to start by explaining their need for an interpreter and their rights. This means for the dealership to provide an interpreter they must schedule the appointment ahead of time and this is far from convenient.
Today there are some new technologies that make accessing qualified American Sign Language interpreters faster and easier than ever. These services are called video remote interpreting sessions. These services utilize laptops or tablets to bring an interpreter on screen from anywhere there is internet access. This accessibility option has been gaining popularity and can be a real game changer for businesses that utilize video remote interpreting (VRI) agencies.
This is not the best solution for every interpreting setting, but as these technologies advance, they certainly are becoming more popular and more used across the country. Providing ASL interpreting services for deaf individuals is covered by the same laws that require handicap accessibility to business entrances and it is just as important. If your company is not currently making your services accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community not only may you be breaking the law but you may also be losing customers and business that you could otherwise win.
In person interpreters are usually the preference, so it is always important to discuss the type of services that the individual you are communicating with needs prior to setting them up. Individuals with low vision, certainly do not prefer to view an interpreter on a small screen. There are a variety of other reasons that may make using VRI difficult, but it can offer a very convenient experience when it is used appropriately.