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Laws on ASL Interpreting

Translators USA doesn't only help its clients establish an effective communication with hearing-impaired individuals but it also helps its clients comply with the legal requirements, more specifically with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, the ADA requires that no individual is denied or restricted access to services, goods and facilities due to their disability or due to absence of the so-called auxiliary aids and services.

What the ADA Says About ASL Interpreting?


According to the ADA, hearing-impaired individuals must be provided with equal opportunities, access to services, goods and facilities, privileges and advantages than other individuals. This means that Americans with hearing-impairment must be provided with the ability for effective communication which in turn requires a qualified ASL interpreter or in some cases, assistive listening devices.

When ASL Interpreting is Required?

The ADA states that ASL interpreting (or assistive listening devices) is required in any place of public accommodation and commercial facilities including retail, restaurants, banks, etc. regardless if the service, goods or facility are provided by profit or non-for-profit organization. According to the ADA stipulations, ASL interpreting is also required at job interviews and public events.

Who Needs to Provide an Interpreter and Who Covers for the Costs of Interpreting?

The ADA is very clear about who needs to provide an interpreter and who covers for the costs of interpreting. Both are the responsibility of service, goods or facility provider. For example, when a hearing-impaired individual seeks medical help, it is the health care provider's responsibility to contract an interpreter and subsequently, cover for the costs. The same counts for all other “generally open to the public” and commercial institutions, organizations and facilities.

Failure to Comply with the ADA Standards Foresees Penalties

Service, goods and facility providers who fail to comply with the ADA standards, for example not providing a hearing-impaired individual with an interpreter or assistive listening devices are risking very serious penalties. There have been several legal cases ruled in favor of hearing-impaired individuals based on the ADA, some of which included awards well over $100,000 for disability discrimination.

Who is Competent to Provide ASL Interpreting

According to the ADA, sign language interpreters must be qualified - that is to be competent to interpret accurately. Though family members often interpret for hearing-impaired individuals, they aren't always competent and shouldn't be asked to interpret because their sign language knowledge is usually limited. Likewise, they may not be able to handle emotionally stressful situations.

Highly Skilled, Experienced and Professional ASL Interpreters Nationwide

Translators USA database of ASL interpreters consists of highly skilled, experienced and professional ASL interpreters who are competent to interpret in a wide range of settings and situations including legal, health care and business/corporate. Their services are available nationwide, 365 days a year and at the best rates in the industry. To hire our ASL interpreters and for additional information, please call 888-790-8872 or contact us through our website.

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018
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