Tips on using an interpreter

Additional considerations for a successful interpreting environment:

  • Speak directly to the Deaf individual.
  • Avoid phrases like “Tell her,” and “Explain to him.”
  • So the Deaf individual may benefit from the speaker’s non-verbal and manual cues, the interpreter and Deaf individual may position themselves in the line of sight, and often times closer in proximity to the speaker.
  • Speak at normal pace and tone.
  • In advance, provide copies of agendas, written material, presentations and outlines to the interpreters in order to maximize services.
  • When using videos be sure use closed captioned videos whenever possible.
  • Lighting is an important consideration. Windows, intense light, or dim light may create visibility difficulty. Check with the interpreter and Deaf person for the optimum setting.
  • When reading extensively from written materials, consider supplying copies to the Deaf client and the interpreter.
  • The interpreter’s responsibility is to interpret everything that is communicated between all parties.