Many deaf people do not like video remote interpreting for complicated medical visits or emergency room communication. This is understandable. Many times things move so fast in the ER, it can be hard to keep the video screen in a good area so that the interpreter and the deaf individual are able to easily communicate. Some medical appointments are more involved and can take a lot of adjusting to manipulate the position of the screen that the interpreter is being displayed on. However, there are some medical appointments that this is a great option for the deaf patient, especially if you are having a hard time finding available ASL interpreters in your area.
The best way to tell if choosing VRI or an in person ASL interpreter is a good fit, is to simply ask the deaf consumer which they would prefer you to schedule before appointment time. This of course cannot be done in emergency situations, but after getting feedback from deaf individuals you should be able to get a good idea of what types of appointments deaf consumers are comfortable with using a digital solution apposed to an in person interpreter. The American Disabilities Act states that deaf or hard of hearing people are entitled to a reasonable line of communication. This can be very different for different people and taking the time to understand each individuals needs is paramount.
Most medical offices and hospitals that serve those in the deaf community utilize a mixture of ASL VRI and in person ASL interpretation to accommodate all of their patients needs. Just because VRI is a cheaper solution in some cases, does not mean that it is a viable solution. If the medical office does not have access to a reliable and fast internet connection, Video Remote Interpreting will not be a good fit. Choosing to use cell phones is another unacceptable way to utilize these services. However, with the proper setup and communication with patients, using interpreters provided over the internet can offer many different benefits to hearing employees and deaf patients alike.