Sign Language Interpreting Services
Sign Language Interpreting Services' mission is to provide quality, reliable interpreting services throughout Alabama.
205-243-4783 (voice or text)
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?
Our interpreters have been vetted, either personally or through recommendations from the community. For new interpreters, or interpreters we are unfamiliar, we ask them to do an intake assessment which includes a recorded interpreting sample.
How does your agency procure interpreters to satisfy specific requirements of an assignment?
Most assignments are assigned based on the consumer's preference. If there is no preference, assignments are given based on interpreter skill level.
How does your agency ensure adherence to the ADA, HIPAA or other pertinent regulations?
Our information is encrypted, password protected. Every interpreter who has access to consumer assignment information has agreed to keep all information confidential and take steps to ensure that any electronic devices used are password protected.
How does your agency manage short-notice requests and unexpected changes?
All assignment requests are handled in the same manner; all assignments are accepted based on interpreter availability. We currently do not charge a fee for last minute requests.
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?
Our consumers can reach out to our director or scheduler directly to address any concerns.
How does your agency advocate for appropriate working conditions for interpreters?
We try to ensure that we collect as much information as possible regarding assignments and include that information on the confirmation notes.
How does your agency define policies and procedures for billing, payment and collections?
Billing policies are included in all of our contracts.
How does your agency manage communication with the requesting party regarding the assignment?
Requests go through our scheduler, although a few still submit requests directly to our director. Our scheduler confirms availability with the requestor and then gathers assignment related information from the requestor.
How does your agency maintain regular available hours to: Accept requests for coordinate assignments? Respond in a timely manner to all requests?
Our scheduler is available during the week for requests and often responds to requests after hours and on weekends. The director also monitors emails after hours and on the weekends. Our goal is to respond promptly.
For End Users and Consumers (Deaf or Hearing)
How does your agency help guide participants to navigate an interpreted interaction?
Depending on the consumer's experience working with an interpreter, we will provide an overview of the role of an interpreter and how to work together.
How does your agency utilize partnership with the consumer to ensure an appropriate, skilled interpreter who understands the unique needs of the parties involved?
We value and accept input from the consumer to ensure the best match available is provided.
How does your agency advocate for using interpreters with native cultural and linguistic competence?
We currently utilize CDIs and exempt DIs and inform the hearing consumers why their services are needed. Also, when the skill level is present, and the assignment request for a licensed interpreter, we advocate using a native cultural and linguistic competent interpreter who is permitted due to not meeting the educational requirements set forth by RID and the interpreter is working through the alternative pathway to certification/licensure.
How does your agency strive for continuity of services and consistency of interpreters placed in ongoing jobs whenever possible?
When possible, the same interpreter(s) are used to provide consistency. For ongoing assignments, once an interpreter is assigned, that interpreter has priority for that assignment.
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)?
Consumers, when they have direct access with our agency, are encouraged to provide feedback on our interpreters. Our director also actively asks for feedback to see if changes are needed. Feedback can be given by text message, email, phone call (directly by video phone or through relay), FaceTime, etc.
How does your agency actively solicit input and involvement from Deaf stakeholders?
Deaf stakeholders are encouraged to provide input. Our director also actively asks for feedback from Deaf stakeholders on how we are doing and any suggestions they would like to make.
How does your agency provide a convenient way to secure work at a wide variety of venues?
When requests come in, notification goes out to our interpreters who match the criteria for the request. We have also advertised for interpreters through TerpInfo and by word of mouth.
How does your agency establish and define: Policies and procedures? The working relationship of employee or contractor? A convenient way to secure work?
All of our interpreters are independent contractors, therefore, federal regulation does not allow us to mandate policies and procedures. HOWEVER, all of our interpreters sign an agreement that they will adhere to the RID Code of Professional Conduct and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Failure to do so can result in termination with the contractor.
We strive to maintain clear communication and a good working relationship with all of our contractors. As stated earlier, all assignments are listed and interpreters can choose the ones they are available to take. We do not have a minimum required number of hours/assignments; we would rather an interpreter be on our roster and be able to take an assignment than miss the opportunity to provide language access when they are able to do so.
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?
We always try to provide the most qualified interpreter available but with the caveat that an interpreter who is highly trained, has vast experience and certifications may not always be the best fit. We rely on feedback from the consumers. As far as teaming, we take into consideration feedback from the interpreting team and the consumers.
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)
Our scheduler requests from the person/entity making the request to provide as much information and access to any of the materials that will be used in the assignment and pass that along to the interpreter(s). Depending on the venue, we will also request access to the FM system or any listening devices available (ie, concerts, large auditoriums) be made available to the interpreter(s).
How does your agency provide administrative functions which may include advertising, billing, payroll, education and advocacy?
Our bookkeeper/scheduler follows up on any additional information pertaining to the billing aspect of the assignment and will work with the interpreter to get additional information if needed. We are not an advocacy agency, however, we will provide information regarding community resources that may be available without infringing on the consumers rights. (CPC 2.6)
How does your agency assist with meeting last minute needs which affect the assignment and the interpreter?
The assigned interpreter is often able to take care of many of the last minute needs that affect the assignment and interpreter. Furthermore, the Director is available for the interpreters/consumers to contact should anything arise that the assigned interpreter/consumer is unable to take care of.
How does your agency promote the development of interpreters skills and comfort in various venues?
We pass along any training opportunities that we are aware of regarding interpreter training. We encourage peer to peer dialogue to help one another increase their skills knowledge base.
For our interns, we often include paying for EIPA or NIC testing as the intern nears the completion of the internship. We also provide mentoring for those interns.
We have provided grants for CDI training.
We provide mentoring for any of our interpreters who are interested.
Our long-term goal is to provide additional training to meet the needs of our community.