Flamingo Interpreting Brings Language Access to the Forefront at Meta Connect 2023

Menlo Park, California — [10/01/2023]

Flamingo Interpreting, is proud to announce it’s participation in the groundbreaking Meta Connect 2023 conference held at Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. As a trusted partner, Flamingo Interpreting provided comprehensive interpreting services for the conference, ensuring language accessibility for all attendees.

Meta Connect 2023, hosted by Meta Platforms, Inc., showcased the latest advancements in technology and innovation. The conference included keynotes, a state of the union address, important technological innovation announcements, and a diverse array of breakout sessions. Flamingo Interpreting played an instrumental role in making these events accessible to Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals by providing professional ASL interpreters for the second year in a row.

The inclusion of ASL interpreters allowed Deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees to fully engage in the conference, gaining access to critical information, insights, and announcements. Flamingo Interpreting’s interpreters seamlessly integrated into the conference, facilitating clear communication between speakers and the Deaf community.

The conference proceedings, including keynotes, state of the union address, and various tech announcements, were broadcast live and are now available online on Meta’s official Facebook and YouTube channels. Flamingo Interpreting is dedicated to ensuring that Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals can access these recordings and has already begun sharing links to the interpreted content.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Meta again for the Meta Connect 2023 conference. These conferences are key moments in the cultural zeitgeist, supporting participation in these moments is an incredible honor.” said Grey Van Pelt, Founder and CEO of Flamingo Interpreting. “Our mission has always been to break down communication barriers and provide the pinnacle of access to everyone. Partnering with Meta on yet another groundbreaking event aligns perfectly with that mission.”

Flamingo Interpreting continues to expand its reach and impact by providing high-quality ASL interpreting services for a wide range of events, including conferences, corporate meetings, educational institutions, and more. With a team of highly qualified and certified interpreters, Flamingo Interpreting is committed to ensuring that language is never a barrier to communication.

For more information about Flamingo Interpreting and its services, please visit Flamingo Interpreting.

About Flamingo Interpreting

Flamingo Interpreting is a leading American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting agency dedicated to breaking down communication barriers and providing equal access to information for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. With a team of highly qualified and certified interpreters, Flamingo Interpreting offers a wide range of interpreting services for conferences, corporate meetings, educational institutions, and more.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Nicole Rae
Glitter Pen Marketing

Telehealth: Changes and Challenges

The rise of telehealth has revolutionized the way services are delivered, adding new convenience and accessibility to patient. However, for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, navigating telehealth can present significant challenges due to communication barriers. In this article, we’ll explore the interesting role of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in improving access to remote healthcare for Deaf individuals.

The Need for Inclusive Telehealth

Telehealth has gained immense popularity over the past few years with platforms now providing patients with the ability to consult healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes. According to the American Telemedicine Association, usage has surged in recent years, especially during the global pandemic, and is projected to continue expanding in the future.

Telehealth in many ways is not new to the Deaf community but utilizing video from within the hospital presents complex challenges. One of the largest barriers is the ability to participate effectively in remote medical consultations. For the Deaf community, ASL serves as a primary means of communication, making the presence of qualified ASL interpreters essential to ensure effective and meaningful interaction during telehealth appointments. This means having an additional user on the call which can slow down bandwidth, reduce clarity, visibility and become a barrier to the conversation.

A study published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare found that incorporating ASL interpreters into telehealth sessions significantly improved patient satisfaction and understanding of medical information. This emphasizes the importance of interpreters in promoting positive patient outcomes and overall healthcare experience for the Deaf community. Still, it is not without its hurdles.

Addressing Technical Challenges

In the digital realm of telehealth, ASL interpreters face technical challenges in providing seamless services. Collaborative efforts between interpreters, healthcare providers, and telehealth platforms are necessary to ensure smooth video connections, audio quality, and synchronized interpretation. As an industry we are currently working to perfect the technology we work with to allow for a compliant, safe and friendly user experience for all involved. However, even the best of products face hesitancy in the medical community.

Training and awareness on best practices for telehealth interpreting are essential to optimize remote interpreting experiences for all involved parties. With hospital budgets often reduced or limited, the responsibility on training often falls on outside organizations. NGOs like the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) provide guidelines and resources for interpreters working in telehealth settings. Their work is to advocate for better services and better experiences keeping the needs of interpreter’s, patient’s and the provider’s needs in mind.

We’re thrilled to see what the future holds!

Hiring Interpreters for Public Events: Your Questions Answered

What is the role of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter at a public event?

This depends on the type of interpreting you hire. If the event is accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community you may only need assistance in areas like registration. However, for staged acts, workshops or other activities happening in a language other than American Sign Language, you’ll want to hire interpreters there as well.

How do I know how many ASL interpreters I need for my event?

One of the biggest benefits of working with an agency is using their expertise to help you decipher just how large or small of a team you will need. In general, for staged events you can plan on a minimum of two interpreters. With music incorporated, you should plan for four as Deaf interpreters are the best practice to hire. This means you’ll be hiring two hearing interpreters and two Deaf interpreters as linguistic experts to handle the performances.

For specific guidance, reach out!

What qualifications and certifications should I look for in ASL interpreters?

In many regions of the country certification is required. However, if you live in an area where uncertified interpreters practice, you’ll want to be very clear with the agency to ensure they know the level of qualification you’re looking for.

Can ASL interpreters handle technical or specialized topics at the event?

Absolutely! It’s even better when the interpreters can receive some sort of preparation material ahead of time. It’s key that interpreters are clued in especially for anything overly technical or niche.

How far in advance should I book ASL interpreters for my event?

We always recommend two weeks but booking within that amount of time doesn’t guarantee impossibility. Interpreters schedules are always changing and shifting with multiple cancellations happening weekly. The best plan of action if booking with less than 14 days notice is to call the agency ahead of time to gauge timing and confirmation expectations.

What type of equipment is needed for ASL interpreters at the event?

Each event is different. Some technology that is utilized for larger events includes in-ear monitors, IFBS, floor monitors, music stands, book lights and teleprompters. Each event is different. In working with a coordinator, you’ll review all of the details of your event and receive a list of any technology your ASL interpreting team might need.

How do ASL interpreters work with other event staff and speakers?

We’re just like staff and crew. Whenever possible, we try to get all access passes as there are often situations where we are required to move from the public area to the stage section and it can be questionable to some security. We try our best to work around your plans but work to incorporate our services in a seamless way.

Can ASL interpreters provide interpreting services for multilingual events?

They can! Often trilingual interpreters are requested for events happening in other languages. When this isn’t possible, we staff interpreters who work over two or more spoken language pairs with an ASL interpreting team to keep things moving smoothly.

What is the cost of hiring ASL interpreters for a public event?

Rates greatly vary depending on the content and requirements of each event. While our rates are posted publicly, they are subject to change depending on the complexity of the request. Feel free to reach out to us at any of the links below.

How can I ensure that Deaf attendees are aware of the interpreting services available at the event?

Promotion is key! Working with social media experts who have ties to the community like Glitter Pen Marketing is one of the best ways to ensure the word is out about access at your event. It is also highly recommended to include a disclosure on all printed and shared materials. Signage at the event is also incredibly helpful as attendees begin arriving to confirm they are in the correct area to be able to see the interpreting team.

For more questions or to get a copy of our event guide, don’t hesitate to reach out!

The Fashionably Fluent: Interpreting Services at New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is renowned for its glitz, glamour, and global influence, drawing fashion enthusiasts, designers, and industry professionals from around the world. Behind the scenes of this extravagant event, a group of unsung heroes plays a pivotal role in ensuring seamless communication and inclusivity – the interpreters. These language experts work diligently to bridge linguistic barriers, provide cultural sensitivity, and embrace innovative technology to make NYFW a truly accessible and dynamic affair.

Interpreting Services Behind the Scenes

Interpreters at NYFW operate as the invisible force that keeps the fashion machinery running smoothly. From pre-show meetings with designers and backstage interactions to post-event discussions, their presence is indispensable. Their language prowess allows designers, models, and international attendees to communicate effortlessly, enabling the exchange of creative visions, ideas, and inspirations that shape the face of modern fashion.

Bridging Language Barriers on the Catwalk

As models sashay down the runway, the world watches in awe, but what often goes unnoticed are the skilled interpreters positioned strategically at the show. These language maestros break down linguistic barriers during the runway shows, ensuring that everyone present, regardless of their native language, can appreciate the artistry and vision of the designers. Backstage, interpreters foster an inclusive environment, ensuring that models, stylists, and crew members from diverse backgrounds can collaborate effectively and confidently.

Cultural Sensitivity and Fashion

Fashion is more than just fabric and design; it’s a reflection of culture, history, and identity. Interpreters at NYFW understand the significance of cultural competence when providing their services. They cater to diverse audiences, designers, and industry insiders, ensuring that the essence and impact of fashion are preserved and celebrated globally. Their understanding of cultural nuances allows for respectful and meaningful communication between individuals from different backgrounds, fostering a truly inclusive fashion experience.

The Dynamic Duo of Fashion Interpreting

During the fast-paced and high-energy events of NYFW, interpreters often work in pairs – the dynamic duo. These co-interpreters complement each other’s skills, providing real-time translation that keeps up with the swift pace of the fashion world. They work in perfect harmony, ensuring that no crucial detail is missed, and that the essence of the message remains intact across languages.

Last year, interpreters took to the runways of shows by MADE and Runway of Dreams to provide services to a wider audience, furthering the discourse about inclusion in the industry.

Embracing Multilingual Innovation

As technology continues to revolutionize the fashion industry, it also plays a vital role in NYFW’s accessibility. Virtual interpreting services have opened doors for a global audience to witness the fashion extravaganza in real-time, transcending geographical boundaries. Flamingo Interpreting, a leading interpreting services provider, is at the forefront of this multilingual innovation, offering their expertise at runways, fashion pop-ups, activations, and panels. They recognize the importance of ASL interpreting services, as they play a crucial role in making events like NYFW accessible to the disabled community, allowing them to participate fully in this grand celebration of fashion.

In conclusion, the fashionably fluent interpreters at New York Fashion Week are the unsung heroes who ensure that language barriers do not hinder the magic of this iconic event. Through their expert skills, cultural sensitivity, and embracing of innovative technology, they elevate the inclusivity, global reach, and impact of NYFW, making it a true celebration of diversity and creativity in the world of fashion.

Crisp Clarity and Professionalism: The Strategic Choice of Dark Attire Among Interpreters

Sign language interpreters play a crucial role in providing access to the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community across North America and beyond. You might have noticed that interpreters often dress in dark colors, raising questions about their fashion choices. However, there are essential reasons behind this sartorial preference that contribute to the effectiveness of their work.

1. Enhancing Clarity Through Contrast

One of the primary reasons interpreters opt for dark-colored attire is to maximize visual contrast. Interpreting requires constant focus on hand movements and facial expressions, making clarity vital for effective communication. By wearing dark colors, interpreters create a stark contrast between their skin tone and clothing, making it easier for viewers to distinguish their hands and body movements. This heightened contrast significantly reduces eye strain, especially during prolonged interpreting sessions.

In addition to reducing eye strain, studies have shown that higher contrast between the interpreter’s hands and the background can enhance the viewer’s ability to perceive subtle nuances in sign language. This is particularly crucial when conveying emotions or differentiating between similar signs that rely on slight handshape differences. As interpreters are committed to providing accurate interpretations, the strategic use of dark attire supports their mission.

2. Professionalism and Standardization

Interpreting is a professional field that demands a high level of skill and commitment. Darker colors are often associated with professionalism, projecting a sleek and sophisticated appearance. Moreover, when interpreters adhere to a standard dress code, it fosters a sense of cohesion and unity within the interpreting community. While not exactly a uniform, this shared color palette helps interpreters appear as a cohesive team, enhancing their professional image and facilitating smoother collaborations with new colleagues.

In various professional settings, such as legal proceedings, medical appointments, or corporate board meetings, interpreters are expected to blend seamlessly with other professionals. The choice of dark attire enables interpreters to be less distracting and draw less attention to themselves, ensuring the focus remains on effective communication between parties involved.

3. Adaptability for a Dynamic Profession

The world of interpreting is incredibly diverse and dynamic. Most interpreters work as self-employed service providers or contracted agents, juggling a wide range of assignments daily. They might interpret in academic settings, attend business meetings, and later find themselves on stage at a lively concert. Dark-colored attire offers versatility and adaptability, enabling interpreters to seamlessly transition between various professional environments throughout their busy schedules. This adaptability is essential in ensuring that access to communication is readily available wherever it’s needed.

Furthermore, the choice of dark-colored clothing is not just limited to its practical advantages but also demonstrates cultural sensitivity. Interpreters often work with individuals from various cultural backgrounds, and some cultures associate specific colors with various meanings or emotions. By opting for neutral, dark colors, interpreters demonstrate respect for diverse cultural preferences and avoid any potential misunderstandings.

In conclusion, the choice of dark-colored attire for interpreters serves both functional and practical purposes. By creating contrast, interpreters ensure clarity in their signing, providing a smoother experience for their audience. Additionally, it upholds a sense of professionalism and standardization within the interpreting community. The adaptability of dark colors allows interpreters to navigate through the varied situations they encounter daily. Embracing these considerations, interpreters can continue their essential work of facilitating communication and access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, fostering an inclusive and interconnected world. The strategic choice of dark attire not only benefits the interpreters but also reflects their dedication to the art of interpretation and their commitment to bridging communication gaps between diverse individuals and cultures.

Virtual Interpreting vs. On Site Live Services

In today’s interconnected world, virtual interpreting has emerged as a powerful solution for bridging language barriers and promoting effective communication. Here are five key benefits of working with an interpreter virtually rather than on-site:

Enhanced Accessibility

Virtual interpreting breaks down geographical barriers, allowing businesses and individuals to access interpretation services from anywhere in the world. This level of accessibility is particularly advantageous for remote or international meetings, conferences, and events. With just a few clicks, clients can connect with skilled interpreters who are well-versed in the required languages and subject matter.

Flexibility and Time Efficiency

Virtual services can offer unmatched flexibility in scheduling and availability. Clients can book interpreters for specific time slots, even on short notice, without the need for travel arrangements. This time efficiency is especially valuable in fast-paced industries, emergency situations, or urgent client meetings. Additionally, it eliminates waiting times and maximizes productivity.

Cost Effectiveness

Compared to on-site interpreting, virtual interpreting significantly reduces costs associated with travel, accommodation, and related expenses. Organizations can allocate their budget more efficiently and invest in high-quality interpretation services without breaking the bank. This cost-effectiveness allows businesses of all sizes to access professional interpreting solutions that fit their needs.

Funds saved are often best used towards last minute scheduling, flexible time blocks or shorter windows. You can find our published rates online here.

Seamless Integration with Technology

Virtual interpreting seamlessly integrates with various communication technologies, such as video conferencing platforms and specialized interpreting software. These technologies ensure smooth interactions between parties involved, facilitating clear communication and eliminating the risk of misinterpretation. Clients can also request additional features like real-time transcription or multilingual chat support to enhance the interpreting experience further.

Increased Privacy and Confidentiality

Where demand dictates, virtual services can offer an added layer of privacy and confidentiality, as there are no physical interpreters present in the room. This is particularly beneficial for sensitive situations, such as legal proceedings or closed door meetings. Platforms utilized by qualified interpreters face incredibly rigorous testing and must adhere to the highest of safety standards. Working with interpreters virtually should never be a compromise in the safety and confidentiality our clients can reasonably expect.

In conclusion, virtual interpreting is a transformative solution that brings numerous advantages to businesses, individuals, and organizations worldwide. By leveraging the power of technology, virtual interpreting enhances accessibility, offers flexibility, reduces costs, integrates seamlessly with communication tools, and ensures the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved. Embracing virtual interpreting is not just a smart business decision, but also a testament to the commitment to inclusive and effective communication for a diverse global audience.

Ensuring Success: Preparing Your Event for a Smooth Interpreting Experience

Every event is different and when providing American Sign Language Interpreting services, many questions can arise. If it’s your first time procuring services for an event, navigating the intricacies of access can often be daunting. Working with experts in the field, you’ll find that much like many other vendors you’ll work with; interpreting services can be quite straight forward. We’ve compiled a few pointers for you below in creating a seamless and accessible event for your Deaf/Hard of Hearing attendees.

Understanding Interpreting Needs

First, you’ll need to identify the necessity of interpreters at your event. Often this is a direct access from an attendee who will be utilizing the services during your event. However, many events prefer what we refer to in the industry as “open access”. This means providing interpreting services across stages, workshops, one on one sessions and more. With this model, your attendees do not need to self disclose nor do they need to request services ahead of time as they’re already built into the event from the beginning.

Early Planning and Coordination

It’s crucial to plan ahead when providing services as often interpreters are booked for weeks in advance. Many agencies rely on a two week scheduling block system. This means that interpreters are often booked out and unable to accommodate new requests with less than 14 days notice. While this isn’t the case with Flamingo, we do often tell our clients to plan ahead for specific requests or niche expertise asks as our interpreters are in high demand in the industry.

Planning ahead can look different for every event. We personally prefer to work with our clients as soon as they know the event will be happening as we are often able to hold interpreters schedule preventing you from losing a specific team you might need. A simple heads up is quite easy for us to work with and requires no down payment with enough lead time.

Clear Communication With Interpreters is Key.

We work with our interpreters in establishing effective communication channels, including briefing them about the event agenda, speakers, and specialized terminology. The sooner we can get access to any materials you might have that we can use to prepare, the better. Our interpreters love to read and review materials as far ahead of time as possible but even last minute can be incredibly beneficial. It’s all about ensuring access whenever possible.

Our team will work with you in exchanging contact information in addition to setting up directions for interpreters to find their credentials, meet with their on-site contact and find their set up without issue. We love to see seamless events happen and while we may have quite a few questions, each ask is in service of supporting you. Feel free to send over any materials including draft schedules as they become available!

Venue & Seating Considerations

We will work with you in strategically arranging interpreters’ locations for optimal visibility and audibility, considering sightlines and the audience’s perspective. Our team will provide you with guides and checklists alleviating the additional leg work on your end. With our simple recipe, you’ll find that creating accessible seating arrangements and ensuring proper visibility is a breeze.

Technical Equipment

Verifying all equipment the interpreting team may need is in proper working order is often a step that is overlooked during tech checks. It’s important that interpreters have the time to ensure the tools they will be utilizing during the interpreting process are in great shape. We want to be sure that there won’t be any audio issues during the event that could have been avoided ahead of time had a tech check been done.

Often interpreters will make time the day before or prior to the event to arrive for a tech check. During this time they can often consult on visibility and seating arrangements to reduce the chance of any surprises when attendees arrive.

Breaking & Downtime

While interpreters certainly are incredible, they’re not machines and like any other human require breaks. In teams of two we can expect that interpreters are able to provide services for longer without as many breaks however they will still need some downtime. We typically recommend teams of 3 for sessions lasting between 2 hours and a full day.

Interpreting as a craft requires incredible focus and to maintain a solid performance, the brain needs adequate rest. While it may not be in the forefront of considerations, from the perspective of your language team breaks are critical for the superior product your attendees deserve.

Feedback and Post Event Evaluation

It’s important to gather feedback from interpreters and event participants to identify areas of improvement and enhance future interpreting experiences. Many event planning professionals will share their experience in missing pain points due to the inability to glean better solutions from their attendees. Interpreters are at the front line of your event working directly with your attendees and are truly experts in what makes an event accessible. To provide the best possible experience for future events, don’t discount their expertise and consider reaching our directly or with a form to gain their insight.

Five More FAQs For Clients Like You

What Guarantees Do You Offer for Interpreter Satisfaction?

Our commitment to your satisfaction is unwavering. If for any reason you’re not thrilled with the interpreter you’ve chosen, do everything we can to make it right. Your happiness is our top priority.

Historically we’ve certainly rearranged schedules to make new requests or adjustments work. We’ll accommodate however we can. Luckily, we’ve never seen a client release an interpreter due to quality. Usually it’s a vibe we’re looking for and while that can be complex to get right, we’re committed to finding the right fit every time. No questions asked.

Can You Accommodate Last-Minute Requests?

Absolutely! We understand that sometimes urgent interpreting needs arise. Just give us a call, and we’ll do our best to find a skilled interpreter to meet your requirements, even on short notice. You’ll find our emergency line at the bottom of this page, our home page and here: +1-929–500-5752

How Can I Ensure Cultural Competence in Interpreting?

Cultural sensitivity is vital in interpreting but we go further. We believe that every interpreter you work with should be not only well versed in your culture but also a member of it. Rest assured, we work with a diverse network of interpreters who are not only language experts but also deeply knowledgeable about various cultures, ensuring effective communication in any setting.

For specific needs or niche asks, don’t hesitate to reach out with specifics. We’re very close with our team and like to get to know everything about them to make sure their skills meet your needs right where and when you need them.

What Sets Your Interpreter Screening Process Apart?

Our rigorous selection process guarantees that only the best interpreters become part of our team. Each interpreter is referred by real clients, ensuring their exceptional skills and professionalism, and we prioritize practitioner-driven excellence. Our interpreting team is committed to growing the field and shaking up what clients have traditionally seen as “decent” interpreting. We believe interpreting services can be incredible that’s why we only work with incredibly practitioners.

Do You Offer On-Site and Remote Interpreting Services?

Absolutely! We cater to both on-site and remote interpreting needs. Whether you require in-person interpretation or prefer the convenience of virtual solutions, our skilled interpreters are ready to deliver seamless communication.

A fun fact about us: we were first to embrace VR and AR as solutions in our clients requests. We also were working on Zoom far before COVID was even a rumor. We’re experts in remote services and ensure all of our interpreters are fully equipped with the right technology, connection and look to make any interpretation seamless.

For specific branding and aesthetic requests, you can reach Taylor via email here.

Conference Interpreting Basics

Conferences, while something most of us in the corporate world are familiar with, involve planning the vast majority of attendees may never see. As anyone could gather, there are conferences for everything. Professional growth, corporations, sales, marketing, shiny crystals, and more. They’re out there! And they should all be accessible with the addition of American Sign Language interpreters. Below, we’ve outlined some of the basics surrounding conference interpreting.


Let’s start with the setup. Places like Flamingo Interpreting are awesome
and have fully fleshed out guides for this, but let me drop the basics. The
first thing to talk about here is interpreter location. The best bet for having a
great place for everyone to see the interpreters will be in down in front of
the stage to the left or right side (or both for events with huge audiences).
Typically from here there will be a designated area for ADA audience
members nearby with a clean sightline to the action happening center stage
while also being able to see the interpreter in action. Another option that
works great for larger audiences or events where the space between the
stage and audience is pretty wide is to add a platform. Having a safe lifted
square area for the interpreter to stand on between the entertainment and
the audience will linguistically and literally shrink that gap. Having a camera
on the interpreter for large events with screen projectors is great too! You
can even set up picture in picture!

Next up, lighting. It’s great to have your language accessibility specialists in
sight of the audience, but little good it will do if they’re in the dark. Typically
a single spotlight or any designated light on the interpreter that provides
good illumination will work. Having a specific light for this works best as
strobing or other colors etc. happening with the other lights in your setup
won’t be something you’ll want to implement there. We are going for clarity,
after all. And, speaking of clarity, the interpreters will also need to hear
what’s happening on stage clearly to be able to give an equally clear message to your audience. Monitors work okay in certain setups, and inner
ears with direct mic feeds work even better!

The Vibe

To piggyback on our last topic now that you know what will be expected of
the venue, let’s talk about the things you can request on the interpreting
side to match the vibe of your event. Specific colors, styles, and types of
clothing are absolutely okay to request. Keep in mind that the interpreters
should already know to avoid brand logos and loud patterns, but if specific
color palettes are wanted or not wanted to mesh perfectly with your brand
and event theme, please let the interpreting agency know! Typically the
content of your event will be a good indicator of the types of clothing one
should wear to be a part of your event, but if you specifically need business
attire or want everyone on stage to play it more casual, please let the
agency know this as well. Also, if you happen to have the desire for
interpreters of a specific ethnic background or cultural history to better
integrate into the themes and participants of your event, these types of
requests are also something that can be arranged! Just say the word!


Another important thing to mention here is the addition of captioning. Most
events will have pre recorded footage or media to show during their
presentations or breakout sessions. The addition of captioning either live on
site, or even better, added to all videos beforehand, can really be a game
changer when providing access to your entire audience. After all, not all deaf
and hard of hearing individuals know sign language for many reasons,
unfortunately. This can be lack of access, latent deaf individuals who grew
up in a hearing world, and more. Adding captioning can really help bring
your audience together in full and make sure that every participant has
access to the same wealth of information.

Credentials and Preparation

We love a good chance to knock something off the to-do list early when it
comes to planning these monsters we know our events can become.
Credentialing and preparation are an easy thing to place a check next to way
in advance! Once you have the interpreter information, it’s easy to contact
the correct parties to make sure they are on the right lists and have passes
and access to everything they’ll need during the duration of their services.
Don’t forget to pop over a simple message or map to the agency about
where the interpreters can find the location to pick up these items.
Sometimes if they’re available early the interpreters or a representative from
the agency will be happy to pick them up ahead of time. Two checks!
In addition, the best way to ensure all service providers give their best and
cleanest work is to provide as many sources of information before your
event as possible. You’d be surprised at all of the things that can help. Lists
of names, bios about the event presenters, video clips, scripts, run of show
schedules, maps, programs, and/or talking points for panels or fireside chats
can make a world of difference when it comes to interpreters having any and
all specialized vocabulary and preemptive practice ready to go!


So now what do you do if you have all of these additional people running
around your event? You must already have a long list of producers, A/V
staff, technicians, etc. to keep track of. Don’t worry about the extra! Just ask
the agency or agree to their recommendation to have an extra on-site
coordinator present to take care of all of that for you. After all, it’s best to
have a specialist present that knows the ins and outs of interpreting for
events like yours. They will make sure that everyone is in the right place at
the right time, while also managing their breaks and any last minute
changes or emergencies. This can really be a game changer for your entire

How Do I Hire an ASL Interpreter?

Events, productions, education, medical, and so many other parts of the happenings in our day to day lives are for everyone, and if they’re not, they should be! There’s no argument that the best plan of action in any situation is to make sure all information is available to all Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind (DHHDB) present through ASL interpreting services. But how can you go about providing this? 

Step One- The Service Provider

The first step in providing any services to the DHHDB community is figuring out who to partner with to provide services for whatever your needs are. First, make sure you know what you’re looking for, i.e. if the event will be in person or remote. If services are needed in person, search around for agencies in your area through internet searches, referrals of colleagues or entities that have worked with interpreters before in similar settings, and you can even ask the person or group needing services if they have a preferred interpreter or agency they wish to work with. Take it one step further and check out reviews, community buzz, and see if the services providers you’re interested in specialize in the specific type of content for which you’ll be providing access to make sure it’s a good fit. On the other hand, when it comes to virtual events, you can cast your net a little wider and really reach out feelers for an agency like ours Flamingo Interpreting or individual who meets your needs on an even more specific level with a wider range of availability without the confines of a  geographical location. 

Step Two- Provide Details

Okay, so you’ve found your perfect fit! Great! Now what? The answer is tell them everything you can about your event. Give more details than you think you need to and then don’t be afraid to ask questions to discover if there are more you can still give. To give some bare minimum suggestions, you should of course provide the date and start/end times of your event, the event title, what the event will entail, location (whether the address or link to a virtual meeting room or webinar), a contact person with details on how best to reach them, and if there will be any notable speakers or specific participants needing the services. It’s also best practice to provide information on whether or not the event will be live streamed or recorded, and if these things will be available to the public or only provided to those within your organization or for reference. This will let the service providers know in case this affects any changes in fees and documents needed to clear any legal liabilities such as image releases or non-disclosure agreements. 

Step Three- Prepping the Interpreters

You’ve done it! Found your service provider and gave them everything they needed to know, and now you have the interpreter(s) confirmed for your event! But, that’s not the end of the list. Now we need to provide the interpreter(s) with any information they can use to prepare (or “prep”) for your event. The more information that can be passed on to the service providers before your event, and the earlier this can be provided, the better. This ensures that there will be little to no hiccups, surprises, or communication breakdowns needed for things to run as smoothly as possible for all participants. The list of what can be provided is pretty endless, and you may be surprised at what can help. Anything from lists of names of speakers, presenters, or important participants with bios to show schedules, written speeches, or even lists of potential technical vocabulary can be a huge help. This ensures the interpreter(s) has the time to become familiar with the content, as well as research or practice anything they may need to fine tune before being in the heat of the moment in the middle of a large speech or presentation. It’s also important to send over anything the interpreter(s) may need as far as information about the event itself or venue, including details parking, where to enter the building, which room or floor to go to, who they may need to meet on-site or check in with once they arrive, and/or any credentials or security measures they may need to acquire or may encounter before being able to access the venue. If virtual, they may need to set up a specific type of platform that’s less common or specific to your organization, or have specific passwords or responsibilities once entering the meeting or webinar. All of this should be provided beforehand so the service providers can know what to do, where to go, and what to be ready for. 

Step Four- Prepare the Location

You have your service provider, you’ve passed along all the details and information you can, and now it’s time to handle things on your side as well. Keep in mind that having an interpreter may add one or two important changes to the logistics of your event. Make sure that there’s a designated safe and visible place for the interpreter(s) to stand and perform their work. Make sure they will have access to any audio they may need to hear from mics or performers, especially in larger venues where acoustics must be heavily controlled. In addition, this is where you must take in the needs of the participants needing services. Maybe if you have a large audience, you’ll need to designate an area close to the interpreter space for participants to be able to see clearly, or will need to set up a special meeting with the AV team on site to make sure there will be an extra camera projecting the interpreter on the larger screen or picture-in-picture as well.This would also be the time to check that the interpreter(s) have access to any inner ears/monitors/teleprompters/etc. that they may need. 

Step Five- Payment

Ah, the money part. The part that is necessary yet maybe the most unfun. This part of the process will largely depend on the individual or agency providing your services. The important thing to know here is to be aware of the payment policies of the service providers, as well as if the organization you’re representing has any financial stipulations of their own. Typically, there will be a contract signed by both parties that outlines the parameters of payment, including the total fees to be paid, time period in which payment must be made or an invoice/purchase order must be delivered, and which methods of payment are available and accepted. Sometimes smaller events or one-time situations require payment in advance. Sometimes this is also true for new clients as you establish a trusted working relationship. The best advice for payment is to make sure you know what has been set and agreed upon by both parties in the contract, as well as who the financial contacts are on both sides of the agreement, and who will be the one responsible for paying for the organization you’re representing, whether yourself or an accounts payable department. 

Step Six- Spreading the Word

In the world of today with unlimited free and paid advertisements all around us on social media, websites, video ads, and the “old school” methods of printed and billboard advertising, spreading the word of your event is always an important step for any event that will be shared with the public or a specific group. The important point worth mentioning here is not to forget to make all of these accessible for your audience as well. Make sure you’re captioning or providing interpretations for your videos, crediting the correct parties for content and following any provisions about advertising written in the contracts, and advising the appropriate groups of participants that you will in fact be making your event accessible to them. This step can really go anywhere in the process preceding your event, and although sadly often forgotten or ignored, is one of most important pieces of making your event overall wildly successful.