Frequently asked questions about hiring and working with interpeters

Does ORID provide interpreters?


ORID is a professional membership organization for signed language interpreters in Oregon. As an affiliate chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf we aim to advocate for best practices in interpreting, professional development for practitioners, and the highest standards in interpreting services for diverse users of languages that are signed or spoken in Oregon. It is not within the scope of our organization to coordinate the provision of interpreting services.




How do a find an interpreter?


You may choose to go through an interpreting agency or to directly contract with a private practice interpreter to meet your needs for interpretation. Interpreting agencies have already contacted with a number of pre-screened interpreters and can often work with you on how to best meet the needs of your situation. You can contact them and they will do the work of arranging, coordinating, and paying the interpreters. If choose to seek out interpreters for direct contract work you will need to reach out to a number of interpreters to see who is available for your event, work with the interpreter to with an interpreter for their services ensure the interpreter provides you with a written contract for services. You will need to provide the interpreter/agency with name of the event, time, date, duration, location, names of participants, and any preparation materials (such as agenda, speeches, slide decks, and/or reference materials). Visit the Oregon Association of the Deaf's Directory to find an ASL Interpreting agency in Oregon Search the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Directory to find interpreters in Oregon

  • Make sure to check the box labeled "freelance status"
  • Also note the membership category column:
    • "Certified” members are interpreters who have passed an ethiand have demonstrated a minimum level of skill and have agreed to the RID Code of Professional Conduct
    • “Associate” members have not been screened or certified by RID as having any level of skill in interpretation but are RID members and have agreed to the RID Code of Professional Conduct
    • “Student” members are still in a training program and are not appropriate to contact for independent contract work)
  • You can learn more about what interpreter certifications mean by visiting www.rid.org




What is a CDI and why might my event need one?


A CDI is a Certified Deaf Interpreter. Interpreters who are themselves Deaf are linguistic and cultural specialists who can enhance many interpreting situations. The unique experiences and training that CDIs bring to an interpreting team help ensure that communication is clear and accurate for everyone involved. For more information about CDIs, please visit the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers website: http://www.interpretereducation.org/specialization/deaf-interpreter/
Or see this video: https://www.facebook.com/DACInterpreting/videos/1563494030616649/




Why do some jobs require two interpreters?


Interpreting between two languages and cultures is a highly demanding cognitive task. Two interpreters may be required to provide effective services based a number of assignment characteristics, including the number of participants involved, interactive dynamics, density and complexity of content, and length of the assignment. Discussing with interpreters and consumers the details and needs of the setting is the best way to ensure that all participants will have access to engaging in the event.




Someone asked for an ASL interpreter, do I have to provide one?


Businesses, services providers, and non-profit entities must ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal law applies to a wide range of “places of public accommodation,” including retail stores and the wide range of service businesses such as hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctors’ and lawyers’ offices, optometrists, dentists, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies and private schools. It covers both profit and non-profit organizations. Places of public accommodation must give persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and to benefit from their services. They must modify their policies and practices when necessary to provide equal access to services and facilities. In order to provide equal access, all public accommodations are required to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as qualified interpreters or captioning, when necessary to ensure effective communication.
Auxiliary aids and services must be provided unless the entity can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, or would constitute an undue burden (significant difficulty or expense). Whether or not a particular auxiliary aid or service constitutes an undue burden depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and cost of the auxiliary aid or service, and the overall financial and other resources of the business. The undue burden standard is applied on a case-by-case basis. Undue burden is not measured by the amount of income the business is receiving from a deaf or hard of hearing client, patient, customer, or member of the public. Instead, undue burden is measured by the overall financial impact on the whole entity. Therefore, it is possible for a business to be responsible for providing auxiliary aids and services even if it does not make a sale or receive income from a deaf or hard of hearing person, if the cost of the auxiliary aid or service would not be an undue burden on its overall operation.
For more information, read the ADA's Requirements of Effective Communication or see ADA Title III: Public Accommodations. State and local government agencies and service providers must ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal law applies to all types of state and local government agencies, including courts, schools, social service agencies, legislatures, commissions and councils, recreational facilities, libraries, and state/county/city departments and agencies of all kinds. It applies to activities that are administered directly by government agencies, and to activities that are carried out by private subcontractors. Under the ADA, state and local agencies are required to give equal access and equally effective services to people with disabilities. They may not deny people an opportunity to participate in their programs, or give them an opportunity that is less effective than the opportunity given to others. Often, the public entity must provide qualified interpreters, captioning, and other auxiliary aids to ensure effective communication with deaf or hard of hearing people. The appropriate auxiliary aid depends on many factors, such as the type of communication used by the individual and the situation in which the communication occurs. An auxiliary aid that is appropriate for one person, or in one context, may be useless in another setting or for a person with a different type of hearing loss. For more information, see ADA Title II: State and Local Government Services. Public and private entities and service providers that are recipients of federal financial assistance have obligations to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which provides: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. 29 U.S.C. § 794(a). These obligations under Section 504 are very similar to the obligations under the ADA described above. ( National Assocation of the Deaf, 2018)




How do I find Pro Bono (free) interpreting services?


Interpreters are dedicated professionals who have chosen to make interpreting their career. Certified and qualified interpreters have years of education, training, and continued professional development. Many interpreters who work in the community must pay for professional dues, business licenses, liability insurance, health care, disability insurance, transportation costs, and self-employment taxes. The cost for interpretation services may be between $70-120 for the first two hours of service. Most interpreters regularly engage in Pro Bono work for people, organizations, and causes that are important to them. Due to the high demand for free and reduced price interpreting services, it can be difficult for organizations to find interpreters to meet these requests. ORID acknowledges that organizations frequently have limited resources and competing priorities. However, if equity and inclusion are prioritized early in planning processes, accommodations can be secured in a timely manner and at reasonable cost. We suggest the following approaches:

  • Add a line item in your budget for accomodations for any event, just as you would for a meeting space, sound equipment, or refreshments
  • Fundraise for accomodations or look for a donor who is willing to support accessibility for your organization before a request for services is made
  • Develop personal relationships with interpreters before a request for services is made and talk to them about their ability to volunteer for your organizations
  • You may post to our ORID facebook group to see if any interpreters are interested in volunteering their services