Hiring an Interpreter

Guide to Hiring a Sign Language Interpreter

If you are a provider of service or business to a Deaf or hard of hearing person that uses American Sign Language (ASL), you may need to hire a sign language interpreter for clear, effective communication.  DHCC can help you.

How do I get started?

The first step is to have someone in your organization contact DHCC’s Interpreter Referral Department (IRD) at 610-604-0452 to become a customer.  One of our coordinators would fax or email DHCC’s payment authorization form and rates and policies to review, complete and sign.  The paperwork should be completed and returned before you make an interpreter request.  Once DHCC has received the signed forms, you are signed on and ready to request an interpreter.

How do I request an interpreter for an appointment?

When a need for a sign language interpreter arises, call IRD at [610] 604-0452 as soon as the dates, times and locations are known.  Our coordinators will begin looking for interpreters as soon as they have all the necessary information.  If you’d like, we can fax you a request form to copy and use to fax or email your requests.

How much notice does DHCC need in order to find an interpreter?

DHCC attempts to accommodate all requests, regardless of lead-time, even last minute requests.  However, the following guide is helpful:

  • For an appointment happening on only one day, we prefer at least one week notice.
  • For an appointment happening on two days or more, we prefer at least two weeks notice.
  • For large conventions or conferences, we prefer two months notice.  It is also helpful if we can receive preparation materials for these – schedules, names of presenters, topics, abstracts, etc.
  • For legal appointments, we prefer two weeks notice, as there is a limited pool of qualified, legal interpreters.

What information do I need to provide to schedule a DHCC Sign Language Interpreter?

  • Name of the Deaf individual
  • Deaf individual’s main mode of communication – American Sign Language, Signed English, etc.
  • Nature of the situation
  • Exact location of the appointment including location name, street address, nearest cross street, building name, floor number and room number.  If the location is difficult to find, please provide directions.
  • Start and end time of the appointment.  If security clearances or other preparations are necessary, be sure to include this when informing us of the start time.
  • Name and phone number of a person who will be on site at the time of the appointment.
  • Names of any other people involved in the appointment – doctor’s name, officer’s name, judge’s name etc.
  • Any information available regarding the content of the appointment – schedules, agendas, order of events, copies of any presentations, etc.
  • Requester’s name, phone number, fax number, and email address.
  • Specific interpreter preference, if any.
  • An emergency contact person and/or main number to the location so we have a specific person to contact in the event of an emergency such as a snow cancellation.

Cancellations:  How much notice do I need to give to avoid being charged?*

Once an assignment is confirmed, DHCC must pay our contracted interpreters unless they receive proper notice.  Notice varies depending on the length of the assignment.
For assignments lasting up to two full days, requests for cancellation of services must be made with two (2) full business days notice in between the date of service and the date of cancellation or payment of contracted hours will be required.
For example:  An assignment scheduled for Friday would need to be canceled by Tuesday in order for it to be non-billable.  The 2 full business days would be Wednesday and Thursday.  Weekends and DHCC office closures do not count as business days.
Use the following as your guide:

  • You must cancel on or before WEDNESDAY to avoid charges for requests on or after MONDAY.
  • You must cancel on or before THURSDAY to avoid charges for requests on or after TUESDAY.
  • You must cancel on or before FRIDAY to avoid charges for requests on or after WEDNESDAY.
  • You must cancel on or before MONDAY to avoid charges for requests on or after THURSDAY.
  • You must cancel on or before TUESDAY to avoid charges for requests on or after FRIDAY.

*Note: The cancellation policy above does not include the cancellation expectations for longer assignments. Click here to view full cancellation policy.