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Sign Language Interpreting Services

Sign Language Interpreting Services

We Help with Interpreting

American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary mode of communication for many Deaf Canadians. Professional ASL interpreters provide Deaf individuals with greater access to communication. Interpreters bridge communication barriers and facilitate clear understanding by conveying the purpose, tone, and spirit of messages between Deaf and non-Deaf individuals.

WIDHH is the largest provider of ASL interpreting services in Western Canada. We offer two distinct interpreting services: Community Interpreting Service (CIS) and Medical Interpreting Service (MIS). MIS provides interpreting services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing British Columbians in most interactions with health care providers. CIS provides interpreting services for non-medically related appointments in the community. All ASL interpreters booked by WIDHH are professionally qualified and highly skilled.

Working with an Interpreter

If you are unfamiliar with working with an ASL interpreter, please find some helpful tips and hints below:

  • The interpreter is a professional, so introduce the interpreter at the beginning of the appointment and explain why he/she is present.
  • When working with an interpreter to communicate with a Deaf person, speak directly to the Deaf person and not the interpreter. The interpreter is not part of the conversation and is not permitted to enter the conversation.
  • Remember that the interpreter is a few words behind the speaker. Give the interpreter time to finish so that the Deaf person can ask questions or join the discussion.
  • Permit only one person to speak at a time during group discussions. It is difficult for an interpreter to follow several people speaking at once.
  • Everything that is interpreted is kept strictly confidential by the interpreter and will not be discussed with any unrelated parties.
  • As a final courtesy, to assist the interpreter:
    • If possible, any materials, speeches, lesson plans, textbooks, etc. should be supplied to the interpreter prior to the appointment
    • It also is helpful to meet with the interpreter 15 minutes before your appointment to explain what will be covered.