What is Sign Language interpreting?
How do you take a spoken message in a language based on sound and hearing, and turn it into the equivalent message in a language based on space, movement and seeing? A professional who has fluency in signed languages and has been trained to process spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) does just that.

Sign language interpreting is more than the ability to fingerspell or converse in Sign. Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills. To ensure the accurate conveyance of a spoken message into a signed language requires both fluency in the signed language and extensive training and practice. It also requires strict adherence to a professional code of conduct. For this reason, family members, friends, or others who may know Sign are not appropriate or acceptable substitutes for a professional interpreter.

Sign language interpreting may also involve processing a spoken message into a tactile message for persons who are both deaf and blind. For persons with hearing loss but who are not users of Sign, an interpreter may need the skills to mouth English words so they are easily read on the lips. In some instances, it may be necessary to use both a hearing interpreter to convey the message into ASL, while a second deaf interpreter further processes the signed language into a form understandable to someone who has minimal language skills.

Am I required to provide a Sign Language interpreter?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives rights of equal access to places of public accommodation. These places include, but are not limited to, hotels, theaters, restaurants, lawyers’ offices, medical providers’ offices, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies and private schools. It covers both profit and non-profit organizations, regardless of size.

For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, compliance with the law to provide effective communication may include the provision of sign language interpreting. For further information, please see the section on our website pertaining to the American with Disabilities Act.

How do I request a Sign Language interpreter?
You may send a request form by email. If you already have an account with us, you may access the online eRSP Scheduling System.

Otherwise, simply call the Mid-Hudson Interpreter Service at 845-452-3913 x102 and we will be happy to assist you.

How do I become a Sign Language Interpreter?

Are you fluent in American Sign Language? Then you have the basis for learning
to become a Sign Language interpreter. There are a number of colleges and universities offering Interpreter Training Programs that are recognized by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), a few of which are listed here.

Please see the following websites for further information:
National Association of the Deaf
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf