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Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library Part 2
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Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library Part 2


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  • 1. SERVING DEAF PATRONS IN THE LIBRARY: Part 2 presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
  • 2. Overview: Part 2  Review  Varieties of sign language  Your library’s legal obligations in serving deaf patrons  Finding, hiring, and working with interpreters  Video Relay Service  Q&A
  • 3. QUESTION What is the most important factor in creating successful library experiences for deaf patrons?  Signing ability  Access to technology  Attitude  Having a TTY
  • 4. QUESTION What is American Sign Language? a) A universal visual-gestural system b) A way of expressing English on your hands c) A visual-gestural language with its own grammar and syntax. d) A tool to help children learn English
  • 5. ANSWER What is American Sign Language? a) A universal visual-gestural system b) A way of expressing English on your hands c) A visual-gestural language with its own grammar & syntax. d) A tool to help children learn English
  • 6. QUESTION Where have you seen sign language interpreters working?
  • 7. Signing Varieties  American Sign Language: a real language  Signed English: an artificial system which uses some ASL signs with English grammar and syntax  PSE (Pidgin Signed English): a mixture of ASL and Signed English  Why this is important to know
  • 8. ANSWERS Where have you seen sign language interpreters working?
  • 9. Possible Interpreting Settings in the Library  Storytimes (for parent and/or child)  Bookclubs  Other programs  Board meetings  Job interviews  Staff meetings  Trainings  Meetings with manager  Telephone
  • 10. Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
  • 11. The Americans with Disabilities Act  Requires the provision of qualified interpreters for services provided by state and local governments, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and private entities related to educational and occupational certification.  These places must “furnish auxiliary aids when necessary to ensure effective communication, unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result”
  • 12. “Qualified Interpreters”  Interpreters may hold national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, or the National Association of the Deaf.  CSC (Comprehensive Skills Certificate)  CI/CT (Certificate of Interpreting/Certificate of Transliterating)  NAD I, II, III, IV  NIC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master (National Interpreter Certification) – now streamlined to only NIC
  • 13. “Qualified Interpreters”  Some interpreters may hold certification from state quality-assurance programs, such as EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment)  Some states require certification or licensure for interpreters to work  Chart of state regulations concerning interpreters:
  • 14. The Reality:  There are only about 9,500 nationally certified ASL interpreters in the United States  In most areas, no certification is required to work as an interpreter  Non-certified does not necessarily mean unqualified  Most agencies have their own screening tools
  • 15. What do ASL interpreters do?  Facilitate communication between deaf AND hearing people.  Facilitate cross-cultural communication  Terminology:  Interpreter vs. translator  Interpreter vs. signer  Interpreter vs. transliterator  Specialized types of interpreting/transliterating  Deaf-Blind  Relay  Working with Semilingual or Alingual Consumers (Minimal Langauge Skills)  Oral transliteration
  • 16. A Brief Example
  • 17. The Code of Professional Conduct 1) Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication. 2) Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation. 3) Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation. 4) Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers. 5) Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession. 6) Interpreters maintain ethical business practices. 7) Interpreters engage in professional development.
  • 18. Finding and Hiring Interpreters  Freelancers vs. Agencies  RID Interpreter/Agency Locater Tool:  How to determine what you need  Consumer requirements  Type of assignment  Length of assignment  Number of consumers involved
  • 19. Interpreters: Standard Practices  A 2-hour minimum is charged for all assignments.  Assignments over 2 hours, or very difficult content, will require a team of 2 interpreters.  Assignments cancelled with less than 24-48 hours’ notice are charged at the full rate.  The interpreter will arrive 15 minutes early.  Standard rates vary depending on freelance status, area, type of assignment, and certification.  For more information about standard interpreter practices, see the Standard Practice Papers at
  • 20. When Hiring an Interpreter, Provide:  Date and time of assignment  Setting (storytime, board meeting, etc)  The length of the assignment  Number of deaf/hard of hearing and hearing people involved  Deaf consumers’ name(s) (if known)  Contact person’s name and phone number/email  Directions and parking instructions  As much content info as possible (outline,
  • 21. When working with an interpreter:  Allow time beforehand for the interpreter to preconference with the presenter.  Work with the interpreter to determine best placement and sight lines  Work out how issues such as turn-taking and clarification will be handled  Remember that the interpreter will interpret everything he/she sees and hears!  Look at and speak directly to the deaf person/people.
  • 22. When working with an interpreter:  Remember that the interpreter will be using processing time and will be slightly behind the speaker. Allow for this when asking questions, etc.  If visual information, such as a PowerPoint, is used, allow time for the deaf person to look at both it and the interpreter.  Remember that the interpreter will need breaks!  Let the interpreter be an interpreter, not a participant.
  • 23. A Model for Access: The Community Access Partnership  This initiative of the Hearing and Speech Agency in Baltimore, MD matches interpreting interns, paired with interpreter mentors, to local libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations to broaden access to cultural programming for the Deaf community.  Win-Win-Win:  Interpreting interns gain experience in various settings  Libraries and cultural institutions provide greater access
  • 24. The Community Access Partnership  “This free service not only helps in the professional training of sign language interpreters, but is a wonderful outreach to the deaf community, who may be more encouraged to attend BCPL programs.” –Kathy Casserly, Baltimore County Public Library, Youth Services Specialist
  • 25. Video Relay Service  What is Video Relay Service (VRS)?  VRS is a federally-funded videotelecommunication service that allows videophone users and voice telephone users to communicate through a sign language interpreter.  Service is free to users and is available 24/7  Private companies provide the equipment and service, and are reimbursed for interpreted minutes by the FCC
  • 26. How VRS Works From
  • 27. More About VRS  VRS vs TTY (teletypewriter) Relay Services  The FCC now requires VRS companies to provide videophone users with a 10-digit telephone number that will connect hearing callers to an interpreter automatically.  Voice Carryover (VCO): for videophone users who wish to use their own voices during the call  Spanish Language VRS service is also available.
  • 28. Using Video Relay Service  Receiving a VRS call  Making a VRS call  Things to Know:  Speak directly to the deaf person  Allow time for the interpreting process  Be careful with long account numbers, especially if they also include letters  Be clear about local information, as your interpreter may be in another state
  • 29. Questions?
  • 30. Thank you! See for resources, tips, and to sign up for my e-newsletter! All links (including videos) from this slideshow will be posted on the main page immediately following this webinar.