Have questions? Looking for resources? Below is a consolidation of national and local area resources.
NAD safeguards the civil rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. As a national federation of state associations and organizational and corporate affiliates, the advocacy work of the NAD encompasses a broad spectrum of areas including, but not limited to, accessibility, education, employment, healthcare, mental health, rehabilitation, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.
For more information, please visit their website.
The ASDC is committed to providing parents with deaf children access to accurate and current information, educational opportunities, and support. As a national organization, ASDC supports families and professionals committed to education, empowering, and supporting parents and families to create opportunities for their children who are deaf and hard of hearing nationwide.
Are you a parent of a deaf child looking for more resources? Please visit the ASDC website for more information.
The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center is a centralized repository of information, training, and technical assistance for families of and professionals working with deaf or hard of hearing children. Federally funded, the Clerc Center offers free evidence-based resources and trainings.
To learn more about the work of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, please visit their website.
Looking for a nationally certified interpreter? What does it mean to be a nationally certified interpreter? The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is the nationally recognized certifying body of sign language interpreters. In addition to resources for interpreters, the RID website also offers a repository of certified interpreters across the country.
Whether its a search for an interpreter or resources for prospective or working interpreters, the RID website is a great place to start.
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
To learn more about the ADA, its application, and compliance, please visit the ADA National Network website below.
According to TurboTax, one in five Americans has a severe hearing loss, yet may not be aware of the special tax deductions and credits allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. To better understand the deductions and credits available to those with hearing loss, please visit the TurboTax website below.
Every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency that is designed to help individuals with disabilities meet their employment goals. Vocational rehabilitation agencies assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, maintain, or regain employment.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) organization links to websites and other contact information for vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies in U.S. Territories.
DBI promotes services for individuals who are DeafBlind throughout the world. Their website has print publications on a variety of topics related to DeafBlind people.
Explore Gallaudet University resources to learn sign language through their ASL Connect program. With free introductory videos and interactive lessons, along with Deaf Studies courses, learn from the experts.
National Captioning Institute delivers effective captioning services, and develop and fund the continuing development of captioning, subtitling, and other media access services for the benefit of people who require additional access to auditory and visual information.
For more information about captioning, caption services, and accessibility, visit their website.
WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS 101
A CRASH COURSE
A CRASH COURSE
Below are some of the Who, What, and Why behind industry standards and working with sign language interpreters.
What do the different certifications mean?
National Interpreter Certificate. Current certification hosted by RID that evaluates an interpreter’s historical and text-based knowledge of their work first, once passed, evaluates the interpreters ethical performance by a series of questions that the candidate must answer and explain how it aligns with the tenants, and finally, on their interpreting skills by interpreting various source materials with varying level of needs and settings.
The National Association of the Deaf certification is one that has been retired for a number of years. This certification was hosted and evaluated by the organization NAD but has since transitioned the responsibility of evaluating interpreters to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
Certificate of Interpretation/ Certificate of Transliteration. A retired certification that evaluated both skills (interpreting and transliteration) separately.
Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment – A certification system that evaluates the interpreting skills of interpreters who intent to work in elementary and secondary school settings.
Board for Evaluation of Interpreters – The primary goal of the BEI certification program is to ensure that prospective interpreters are proficient in their ability to meaningfully and accurately comprehend, produce, and transform ASL to and from English in the state of Texas. However, recently several other states have adopted the BEI certification approach to their state requirements.
*The NAD, and CI/CT are typically still accepted as valid certifications even though the testing system itself is no longer available.
- Speak directly to the Deaf individual while maintaining eye contact with them and refrain from using phrases like “tell them’’
- Do not include the interpreter in the conversation unless necessary.
- Speak in a normal tone or pace. If the interpreter needs you to slow down or repeat a word they are unfamiliar with, they will let you know.
- If there are any materials that may help the interpreter become more familiar with the content of the meeting/event, please share it ahead of time. Examples include access to presentation slides, notes, names of participants, objectives and/or important highlights that will be covered.
The legal onus of providing communication access is outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) has an easy reference guide that can be used to determine responsibility. See here for a breakdown of the ADA requirements. An additional resource in determining the nature of effective communication access can be found here.
Considerations that have informed the industry standard two-hour minimum include:
- Drive time to an assignment
- Accounting for billing, scheduling, and other necessary paperwork time for both the agency and the interpreter
- And the arrival at least 15-20 minutes prior to the start of an assignment to ensure set up and preparation
Facilitating communication between two languages requires intensive mental processing. For situations that are content-dense or long, an interpreter becomes mentally fatigued after a certain amount of time and becomes unable to provide accurate interpretation without support. A second interpreter is needed to provide support and breaks to maintain the quality of the interpretation.
Looking for resources or have a desire to get involved? Below are a few advocacy organizations in our local area.
A DC-based advocacy organization established to empower deaf citizens of the District of Columbia through the promotion of political, social, and economic access.
To learn more or get involved in DC-area deaf advocacy efforts, visit the DCAD website.
The Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was established in 2001 to promote the general welfare of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through policy and legislative action. ODHH provides expertise related to deaf and hard of hearing individuals, guidance, and facilitation of access resources and services.
Learn more through the Maryland ODHH website.
The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) promotes accessible communication so that persons who are deaf and hard of hearing may full participate in programs, services and opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
Live in Virginia and interested to learn more? Visit their website.
Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, TDI is an active national advocacy organization focusing its energies and resources to address equal access issues in telecommunications and media for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deafblind.
Visit their website to learn more and get involved.
DAWN is a culturally responsive and survivor-centric non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes healthy relationships and aims to reduce abuse and promote accountability in the Deaf community of the DMV area.
To learn more or get involved, visit the DAWN website.
LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT & FOOD
In the Washington D.C. area? Enjoy some local area favorites.
Mozzeria, a Deaf-owned pizzeria, is down the street from Gallaudet University. Headquartered in San Franscisco, Mozzeria’s flagship restaurant opened in 2011 and provides a very unique dining experience.
Learn more about Mozzeria, the first Deaf-owned, Deaf-run pizzeria franchise.
On the second Monday of every month, there is an ASL Trivia night hosted in the District. Prizes are offered for the top three teams, interpreters are provided, and hosted at Red Bear Brewery Co.
Learn more through their Facebook page below.
A Deaf-owned brewery located in Hyattsville, Maryland. Three graduates of Gallaudet University returned to the DMV to turn their home-brew hobby into a profession. The Streetcar 82 name is taken from the 82 Streetcar line which ran through the area from 1888 until September of 1958.
Visit their website to learn more or plan a visit!
Have more questions?
Feel free to reach out with questions. We look forward to connecting with you.