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Sign Language Interpreting Services - Am I Required To Hire a Sign Language Interpreter?

Sign Language Interpreting Services

Am I Required To Hire a Sign Language Interpreter?



Am I Required To Hire a Sign Language Interpreter?


Many times businesses are unsure if they are required to hire a Sign Language Interpreter for their Deaf clients.  The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors;  What kind of business you have, the size of your business, your funding sources, and the nature of the service to the Deaf Client.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides direction in these matters and is available to view on line at  This site is filled with excellent information.


Many organizations have published their own position papers and provide links to various articles on the subject on their websites.  If you are a member of a professional organization, go to your organization's website and search for 'deafness', 'hearing impaired', or 'interpreters' to find its findings and recommendations on hiring sign language interpreters.

The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) has an 'ADA Technical Assistance Manual' that can help answer your questions on the definitions of 'public accommodation (III-1.2000)' and  'effective communication (III-4.3200)'.


Courts and Legal Situations:

American Bar Association,

States and their laws concerning hiring interpreters: Click Here

Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for LRIS Programs and Panel Attorneys: An Update on Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clients      By Clara Schwabe  Click Here

National Association of the Deaf,

Lawyers and Legal Services Click Here

NAD Advocacy Statement:  Use of Communication Access Funds to Access Legal Services (2008)  Click Here



American Medical Association ,

Americans with Disabilities Act and Hearing Interpreters Click Here

Gerena vs. Fogar: Click Here

American Medical Association:  Frequently Asked Questions: 'Interpreter for Deaf Patients'

'Providing Interpreters for Patients with Hearing Disabilities: ADA Requirements'

      -Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience:  Click Here

'Sign Language Interpreters at Doctors, Dentists, and Hospitals' Hearing Loss, Click Here

'ADA Business Brief:  Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings', Click Here

Department of Justice,

      The Department of Justice site has decisions on many legal cases that have been fought over equal communication access. To start perusing these cases, cllick here. 



Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

'The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual with a Disablility'

     -Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Click Here

'Accommodation and Compliance Series:  Employees with Hearing Loss'

     -Job Accommodation Network (JAN), Click Here


Other Settings:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,

Requesting Accommodations for disabilities: Click Here


Social Security Administration,

Social Security policy on interpreters Click Here

Requesting Accommodations for disabilities Click Here


In Theaters and Lecture Halls

'Obligations of  Theaters and Lecture Halls Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990'

    -The ADA-Communications Accommodations Project,  Click Here