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ADA Quick Tips - Sign Language Interpreters


1. A qualified interpreter is one "who is able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary." An individual does not have to be certified in order to meet this standard. A certified interpreter may not meet this standard in all situations, e.g., where the interpreter is not familiar with the specialized vocabulary involved in the communication at issue. (2)

2. There are a number of different sign language systems. The most common systems are American Sign Language and signed English. People who use a particular system may not communicate well through an interpreter who uses a different system. (2)

3. Family members are not considered appropriate interpreters because of their emotional or personal involvement and because it would be difficult to maintain confidentiality.


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