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What are Interpreters?

An Interpreter facilitates communication when two people do not share a common language. Sign Language Interpreters are knowledgeable in the language and the culture of Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people.

A Sign Language Interpreter is a person who is fluent in both English and Sign Language. This person acts as a communication link between people by interpreting from one language into the other in a variety of settings.

From time to time hearing Interpreters may require the services of a Deaf Interpreter to help in the communication process. A Deaf Interpreter is a native signer and a recognised member of the Deaf Community.

Deaf Interpreters can be used in a number of settings, from one-on-one meetings to platform interpreting or may work with consumers who require alternative communication services.

In addition to Sign Language Interpreters, some Deaf and hard of hearing people may lip or speech read and require the services of an Oral Interpreter, whose role is identical to that of a Sign Language Interpreter.

At times, due to the length of the assignment, the number of consumers or the complexity of the task, Team Interpreting (2 or more Interpreters working co-operatively) may be required. It is important to consult with the Interpreter(s) when determining the need for more than one Interpreter.

Interpreters are governed by a stringent Code of Ethics that demands confidentiality, impartiality and integrity on the part of the Interpreter, regardless of the interpreting situation. Members of the Alberta Chapter of the Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf provide interpreting services in virtually any circumstance where clear communications is crucial.

Interpreters may be under contract (e.g. school settings, etc.), work through a referral service, staff interpreter, secretary of state interpreters, or work independently in a freelance capacity.

A Sign Language directory and fee schedule is available by contacting ACRID.

Career Potential

There is a growing demand for interpreters as more Deaf Canadians seek equal access to education, employment, social and legal issues. Interpreting can be a highly flexible career, leading itself well to part-time and full-time work, days or evenings, in routine or highly variable settings, with the same or changing consumers. There are increasing possibilities for mobility across the country, and around the world.



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