Things to Know about Interpreters:

  • All interpreters that work with us follow a Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct with our national professional association, the Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI) and / or a Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct with the West Coast Association of Visual Language Interpreters.
  • The interpreter is there to interpret communication between all parties – i.e., they are as much the hearing consumers’ as the Deaf consumers’ interpreter.
  • The interpreter’s responsibility is to interpret everything, including side comments and incidental conversations. For these reasons, the interpreter should not be asked to stop signing, provide an opinion, or participate in the session. A respectful, inclusive work environment is required for all parties to have a successful event.

What You Can Do to Ensure your Session Runs Smoothly:

  • Provide acronyms, preparation materials (agenda, notes/slides, pre-recorded content, etc.) & background information to the interpreter prior to the assignment. This ensures the most accurate and in-depth interpretation possible.
  • Provide a safe working environment, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment for the interpreter when provided or required by other participants.
  • Due to the complex nature of interpreting, breaks are important for the interpreter’s health and safety and the quality of the interpretation.
  • Breaks should be negotiated prior to the event if there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Recognize the interpreter may need to interject for clarification or ask those involved to repeat a phrase or statement. Likewise, the Deaf consumer and interpreter may need the opportunity to clarify a sign.
  • Avoid the use of technical terms, industry jargon, the use of slang, or idiomatic expressions if not all parties are knowledgeable of their meaning.
  • Speak one at a time and remind others to do the same. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace; when reading, pause and breathe to allow for natural flow of speech.
  • Speak directly and maintain eye contact with other participants or your intended audience, rather than the interpreter.
  • Encourage each person to state their name before proceeding with their comment, especially when using VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) services.
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