5 Things To Ask A VRI Agency – Before You Use Their Services

office-605503_1920With so many rules, regulations and laws surrounding almost every service in today society, there are many different aspects to consider, especially when you are choosing an american sign language service provider for your business.

This is even more complicated when you start investigating the new video remote interpreting services that many of these companies offer. It is important to understand how your liabilities are protected as a company and how the quality of service is monitored or assured by these types of agencies.

If you don’t ask the right questions, in some states you may even be paying for a service that is not considered to be a legal form of communication for deaf individuals. Take a look at the list below and see how your current video remote interpreting agency stacks up to the others available today.

5 Things To Ask A VRI Agency

  1. Can you provide credentials for your interpreters if requested?

    Many companies ask interpreters if they are certified, but do they actually hold up to date copies of their credentials to prove this? This is very important, if there was ever a complaint or an issue with the services you receive, this can be very important to protect your liabilities and prove that the services rendered were provided by a properly qualified interpreter.

  2. Do your interpreters hold a state license?

    This is very similar to the first question here, not every state requires this, but it is very important if your state does require interpreters to be licensed. This is something that for some reason many companies choose to overlook out of convenience. If you find a VRI company not using licensed interpreters, you need to stop utilizing their services immediately. There are laws in states that have interpreting licensure that do not allow sign language interpreters from taking community work. This is a huge no no, please ask!

  3. What is your minimum billable time?

    There is a very wide variance across the board. The minimum billing time, can really change the overall cost of these types of services. If you have to for 30 minutes or 1 hour of service and only need to use the service for 15 minutes at a time, ASL services for the deaf and hard hearing can become very expensive, very fast.

  4. Do you lease hardware to provide VRI?

    This may not be something for everybody. Some people would prefer to buy a computer with a large display or a large screen tablet to use like an iPad. However, there are some companies who would rather just have the complete setup provided so they do not need to look into hardware purchase for their own company. Not every company provides hardware setups, but the ones that do have already made sure they are up to the specifications required for a great service.

  5. Does your company offer on demand services?

    Many companies offer video remote interpreting services, but they do not fully staff ASL interpreters to be available unless they have a specific request from a customer. If you are working with a company that does not have sufficient staff, you are missing out on one of the biggest advantages to using this service. Finding a sign language agency that offers on demand video remote interpreting will allow you to get communication services for deaf individuals as needed.

So, now that you have seen the top 5 questions to ask a video remote interpreting company before you even consider doing business with them, how does your current provider stack up?

Comments are open on this post, let us know what you think about our list, do you have something to add to it?

Go Big or Go Home – VRI At It’s Best

red lights in line on black surface

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No we are not from Texas, but there are still some things in life that are always better the bigger they are, like an ice cream cone. When you are talking about American Sign Language, there is another thing that can be very useful at a larger scale. In person services are of course offered in full scale to provide the service, but if you look at VRI services, some people try to get away with a tiny device to make things easier, like somebody’s cell phone. This is not a good idea because there may be a lot of trouble with the communication with the deaf individual on a screen this small.

Can you imagine trying to see the small movements of fingers on a 4″ screen? Well, I can tell you that it is not a good user experience and at best, it may suffice in a time sensitive emergency. Still, if the message is important, you will never know if it is coming across as it is being conveyed correctly. Small screens are a thing of the past, the price of larger displays has come down dramatically in the past years. Choosing a larger tablet or computer monitor is a much more financially feasible decision than it was 5 years ago.

So, go big or go home really means something in this case. Deaf consumers are already hesitant to utilize video remote interpreting services for a variety of reasons. If your company is going to move to or is already using VRI services to provide a open line of communication for your office; why not provide a realistically sized screen to make sure that the deaf consumer is able to see the signs clearly? You don’t need an array of screens like in the photo from NASA at the top of this page. Just a large tablet or good sized computer screen will make all the difference in the world!

After all, the goal of using such services is to make communication easier, not harder. Lets face it for a couple hundred bucks, you have acquire a 21″ or 23″ monitor or for about the same price you can get a 21 inch tablet on Amazon. Either way this will be much better than a tiny screen and your deaf employees or deaf patients will love you for it. VRI also offers savings over in person interpretation and can be used on demand, not scheduled ahead. So, the ball is your court, go out and get some gear and start reaping the rewards of big time VRI solutions today.


Video Remote Interpreting In Remote Locations Across The USA

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So, you live in a remote area and you need ASL interpreters at your place of business. Well, you most likely have already found out how hard it is to secure a certified interpreter, when there may only be 1 or a handful in your area. This can make scheduling ASL interpretation for an employee or a deaf customer pretty tricky. Many times you may have to work around the interpreters schedule instead of your own, if you want to guarantee that you can get the coverage you need to communicate freely with a deaf consumer. These complications can be frustrating for the paying entity as well as the deaf consumer.

Another big problem that many businesses that operate in remote areas come across is travel time charges. If you cannot get a local interpreter, you may have to pay somebody to drive from an hour or more away. These charges can really add up and they make providing the services that the deaf individual needs very costly. Face to face interpretation is certainly favored when it can be used, but there are some vri solutions that really can make this a much better situation as far as interpreter availability and price too!

Video remote interpreting can be a great solution for casual conversations like doctors visits or help at a variety of business locations like buying a car or home. Even one on one meetings can go very smooth using VRI instead of a in person asl interpreter. It is certainly worth looking at some of the VRI agencies out there and finding out if they can offer you more convenience or save you money compared to your current solution for sign language needs. After all, you just need an internet connection and a computer or tablet to connect to these services and you can open up the interpreter pool to nationwide access, instead of local access alone.

We wish you the best of luck and hope you find a great solution that will be able to provide you a great quality of service for years to come!

On Demand VRI Services – Instant Access For The Deaf

pexels-photo-41073.jpegThe American Disabilities Act created a new era where deaf consumers and many others considered to have disabilities were give certain rights. One of these rights, is the right to a reasonable line of communication. Since this law went into place, there has been a huge spike in the demand for sign language interpreters.

The demand is so high, in fact, that there has been a shortage of qualified ASL interpreters in many metro areas across the country. If you know how supply and demand work together, as you can imagine, this has caused a spike in the prices of on site interpretation.

On Demand VRI Is The Fastest Way To Get ASL Interpreting Services

Even if a company has an interpreter available to come to your office to interpret for a deaf consumer, VRI sessions can be initiated faster than an interpreter can drive across town in most cases. Professional VRI agencies have interpreters ready and waiting to services the next client.

Not all remote interpreting agencies provide an on demand service, but most reputable companies in this field have staffed interpreters ready to assist. This allows for a much smoother workflow in the place of business and it much less distracting than having an outsider in the office at your next business meeting or in the office during a doctors appointment.

Video Remote Interpreting Saves Businesses Money

Many companies do not have a lot of funds available for special services like these. In person interpreting demands a 2 hour minimum, as is the nationwide standard for this type of work. This usually means you would not pay for travel time for the interpreter, however if you only need to utilize an interpreter for 20-30 minutes paying for 2 hours of service certainly can seem unfair. VRI rates are usually based on a per minute or quarter hour and usually are much higher rates, if you were to utilize them for 2 hours straight. However, for medical offices or short meetings with employees, these rates can save a substantial amount of money for many companies that frequently use such services.

Choosing The Right VRI Company

As with any service, choosing the right provider can make a huge difference in the quality of service in which you receive. Do some research and reach out to the company that you are considering. Do they know about licensure and qualifications for the state in which your company operates? Do they have a high quality video platform to deliver the services you are requesting? Does their video software use encryption to assure that your connection is secure?

These are the types of questions you want to ask before moving forward with a contract or any other type of formal agreement. Any legitimate vri agency should also offer a free trial connection to assure that the quality of service is acceptable at your location. Wifi is not the best for video, but if you have a solid internet connection, this can suffice in certain circumstances. Make sure to take some time to make sure the company you connect with can fill you and the deaf consumers needs and you may never pay for a live in person interpreter again!