There are many nationwide ASL services that now offer a version of video remote interpreting to their customers for convenience. This is a valuable solution in many cases, but it is usually a good idea to work with a company that actually has a working relationship with the interpreters in your area. Some of these companies have never even met the interpreters that they will be providing to you. This is not always a problem, but it can make it hard to find an interpreter that is a good fit for certain settings or special needs of different deaf consumers. National ASL services usually offer a convenience of having interpreters that can service clients across the country, but they do not always have the best service because of this.
National ASL Services & VRI
Do ASL Interpreters On Video Need A State License
One of the biggest problems with some of these services is that they usually do not keep track of state and other local requirements. They simply look at the national certifications that are required for American Sign Language interpreters to work in the community. However, there are many states that now do require a state licence to work in their state legally. This is also true of video remote interpreters even if they are operating from another state in some areas.
How Do Video Remote Interpreting Agencies Evaluate Interpreters?
This is a great question and certainly one you should ask any company before you choose to move forward with their VRI ASL services. It is very important to evaluate an interpreters performance and their setup when we are talking about nationwide ASL services. Even if the sign language interpreters they employ are great, that does not make a difference if they have a low resolution video camera, choppy internet connection or distracting backgrounds in their VRI station. Evaluating each interpreter is the only way to assure a high quality of service to each deaf individual.
Sign Language Video Remote Interpreting Customer Service
This is a big part of the service. National VRI and ASL companies are known to be hard to deal with and always in a hurry because they have to get to that next call. When your goal is to provide an exceptional service for deaf individual, you must take your time and understand all the small things about the setting and individual to be able to make sure the VRI session goes off with no hitches. Make sure you find a great ASL VRI company that can help you help them understand your needs, before they try to meet them.
How To Pick A Remarkable Nationwide ASL Service
You must do some research to assure that you are picking a great provider. National ASL VRI services are easy to find online, there are many out there. We think you should interact with more than one before you choose who to do business with. Can you get an email response fast? If you call them are they friendly and willing to take time to understand your needs? Can they explain how you can easily setup their service on a tablet or laptop in your office? Do they abide by state interpreting license laws?
If you ask these questions and look around, you will be sure to find a great video remote interpreting company that can help you provide a reasonable line of communication to dear employees and customers at your office.
With 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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?