For Clients and Requestors
How does your agency pre-screen or determine qualified interpreters when first contracting or hiring an interpreter?
1. Skills: Do you assess skills through certification, licensure, education, experience, areas of speciality?
2. Background: Do you conduct a background check, immunizations or require other documentation?
1. Certifications, licensure, experience, specialized areas such as mental health, education and legal.
2. Background checks, immunizations (as needed).
How does your agency procure interpreters to satisfy specific requirements of an assignment?
Yes. Each assignment is looking for varying degrees of clearance, language skills to match the Deaf/HOH/DeafBlind individuals, and subject matter knowledge.
How does your agency ensure adherence to the ADA, HIPAA or other pertinent regulations?
Our interpreters satisfy the ADA by being "Qualified" as required. In Alabama this is further defined with specific licensure levels. Each interpreter signs a HIPAA policy and accepts responsibilty. Protecting PHI mandates how we share need to know information for assignments and invoicing. RID CPC further restricts the sharing of any client and customer information regarding an interpreted assignment in Tenet 1.0 Confidentiality.
How does your agency manage short-notice requests and unexpected changes?
We do accept last minute request, but cannot guarantee coverage. With the use of technology in these situations, our VRI Video Remote Interpreters, last minute requests can be more successfully coverd. Last minute requests do require an emergency type of response from our team, often uprooting the current schedules. To see a greater success of last minute/emergency assignments filled, a premium is charged to the customer and paid to the interpreter who was willing to step up.
How does your agency: Provide a confidential way for a client to provide feedback? Resolve conflicts, problems and complaints? Establish mechanisms to monitor and improve the quality of services provided?
Communications are open to the methods that work best for the client. A follow-up email or call with clients and interpreters allows for service improvements on all sides. Communation is an art form not a sceince and continued attention to its effectiveness helps all parites achieve their goals.
How does your agency advocate for appropriate working conditions for interpreters?
Understanding the keys to effective visual language is our area of expertise. These conversations and details of placement, lighting, preparation materials, teams, occur before the interpreter ever arrives on-site. Interpreters are versed and experts on the topic and can discuss any onsite issues that may spring up. The type of setting (one-on-one vs. large audience) does impact where the responsibility of sight adjustments might fall. For example if this is business meeting, the deaf consumer will be the ultimate advisor on what placement is effective and comfortable for them. If this is a televised event, standard placement, is more suggested.
How does your agency define policies and procedures for billing, payment and collections?
We conduct billing once per month and ask that companies remit payment in 45 days.
How does your agency manage communication with the requesting party regarding the assignment?
Initial requests involved fact finding and making certain the elements needed for a successful interpretation are going to be possible. Once an interpreter is assigned, confirmation is sent to the requesting party.
How does your agency maintain regular available hours to: Accept requests for coordinate assignments? Respond in a timely manner to all requests?
We are generally open mon-friday 8-5pm, however, urgent calls are answered after hours and weekends.
For End Users and Consumers (Deaf or Hearing)
How does your agency help guide participants to navigate an interpreted interaction?
We do provide a short "how to" etiquette and discuss concerns they might have. We encourage intepreters to also engage in this conversation onsite.
How does your agency utilize partnership with the consumer to ensure an appropriate, skilled interpreter who understands the unique needs of the parties involved?
With 20 years of experience in Alabama and being involved in various local Deaf Community programs, our staff and interpreters have a working knowledge and specialized skill sets to serve the community. From those who specialize in mental health, education, vocational, legal and various technologies and language skills ranging from a CDI expertise to ASL to Transliteration, we can appropriately response to unique needs.
How does your agency advocate for using interpreters with native cultural and linguistic competence?
We have teamed up with CDI's (Certified Deaf Interpreters) to bring native and linguistic competence up to a higher level. Promoting the use of CDI's is critical in equality as we continue to work towards inclusion. Several internal projects we work on will involve CDI's.
How does your agency strive for continuity of services and consistency of interpreters placed in ongoing jobs whenever possible?
With greater notice , the schedules of interpreters can support greater continuity and consistency. Communicaiton and planning is key
How does your agency provide a confidential process to both request AND provide feedback about particular interpreters capabilities before and after the assignment, ensuring that the feedback can be expressed in the communication best suited to the consumer (written or video)?
Knowing the interpreters we hire and referrences from cohorts is a big part of how we have vetted interpreters. Those who wish to work with us who are new to the area we request a video sample.
How does your agency actively solicit input and involvement from Deaf stakeholders?
We have website and contact us email where we will then call on video to collect feedback and customer service from Deaf Stakeholders. Also being involved in local deaf community organizations helps us be aware of current topics in the community.
Service Providers and Interpreters
How does your agency provide a convenient way to secure work at a wide variety of venues?
How does your agency establish and define: Policies and procedures? The working relationship of employee or contractor? A convenient way to secure work?
We follow a HIPAA policy and adhere to mutual respect and professionalism.
How does your agency offer assignments and select interpreters based on the following questions:
1. The interpreters qualifications, credentials and experience?
2. Selecting teams of interpreters that work well with each other?
1. Certified / Licensed and experience and knowledge of topic go hand in hand. Skill over knowledge generally.
2. Professionalism, respect for the process and one another. Skills to carry their own weight - not one to carry both unless the more skilled interpreter has agreed to this before hand.
How does your agency:
1. Procure and provide essential information regarding the specific requirements of an assignment.
2. Arrange for access to presenters or necessary parties by the assigned interpreters
3. Gather preparation materials that assist the interpreter (scripts, lectures, pre-reading material).
4. Solicit any information about the assignment environment that would impact the interpreters (size of audience, duration, formality)
These are generally asked initially when assessing our availability and skills to cover this job. Good prep material can greatly improve the accuracy even if both interpreters have no prior knowledge of the topic.
How does your agency provide administrative functions which may include advertising, billing, payroll, education and advocacy?
CPA, Book keeping, social media ( need more social media & education)
How does your agency assist with meeting last minute needs which affect the assignment and the interpreter?
We keep commitments. If last minute add in can be arranged without harming the current obligations, then we do our best.
How does your agency promote the development of interpreters skills and comfort in various venues?
We encourage interpreters to seek professional training in area they specialize in or are less comfortable in if they want to dive deeper in those areas. We keep note of which settings interpreters reporrt that they are or are not comfortable/appropriate for and respect it.