Question regarding using interpreters for the deaf

(Please forgive in advance any perceived insensitivity or offensiveness.)

My company is holding an event in April, one of a regular series in which we invite clients and prospects to listen to and speak with media and IR/PR professionals.

One respondent to the invitation mentioned that they are a deaf-owned business and asked if we would be providing an interpreter. It’s not something we’ve done in the past, but I’d like to look into doing so if it would help this person to attend. Gallaudet University is right up the street, so I’ll probably start there to see if we can hire an interpreter or find a volunteer.

My question is this: The discussion at the event is going to center around investor relations, the SEC, disclosure regulations, emerging technologies, and other topics that might have a lot of specialized jargon. Would an interpreter need to be provided with a potential “vocabulary list,” or just know what the topic is to be prepared? I’d like to sound like I know what I’m talking about before I start making phone calls!

You might want to take a look around this site to see what the role of the interpreter is
You may want to check with the invitee if they have been to similiar conferences and if there was an intrepreter that they felt comfortable with.
Some other things to consider:
Provide advance copies of any written material that will be presented to the invitee and the interpreter.
Ensure that the seating arrangements allow good line of sight between the presenter and the invitee.

Again, the best thing to do is to contact the individual and get their input. They’ve been through this before.

A few things:

If your event is going to exceed forty five minutes or so expect to hire two interpretors. They get a rest period.

While you need to consider seating you want to avoid any sense of singling out the hearing impaired. The mass audience is not supposed to be able to tell who the interpretor is ‘speaking’ to. This and other insights will be reviewed by the interpretor you hire.

Skilled interpretors rarely volunteer services unless for a family function (theirs).

If in Virginia look up ‘Virginia Relay Center’ in phone book , use this service to speak with
your deaf clients if you don’t already have a TDD installed.

Good luck, always wise to plan for this well in advance.

There are interpretors who specialize in professional fields like medicine (translating for emergency room patients, for example) & law (who have to deal with legalese) so I would bet that there are some interpretors who are specially tuned to the wonderful world of high finance.

It’s probably a lot like an escort service, just tell them what your needs are.

First, it’s nice to see someone who is concerned that deaf people have access.

Second, the deaf person has to ask you to provide an interpreter. They should call you & ask for one. If they don’t, it may be because they have their own or they don’t need one. They might be post-lingual-late-deafened like me & prefer typed notes on a laptop.

For a meeting like yours with possible secrets, you would have to get a certified interpreter because they have the best possible ethics. They are expensive but you can get one easily at the college. Be sure to give them some notice & Im sure they would be happy to have all written materials you have but its not necessary.

As I said, if no deaf person asks for one, I don’t see why you should provide one. It’s up to you too. Be sure to let the people who own the room you are using that you’d like light in the front for the interpreter.