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!