Sign Language Interpreting
Sign language interpreting makes communication possible between Deaf/hard of hearing individuals and hearing individuals. Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive, and technical skills in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Sign language interpreting involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a signed representation. ASL also has its own grammar, syntax, sentence structure and cultural nuances. Hence, interpreters must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work. In addition, interpretations often incorporate cultural information associated with the languages used. Sign language interpreting must be provided by qualified, certified, and trained professionals. Interpreters may also “voice” for Deaf/hard of hearing individuals who do not use their own voices. Each Deaf/hard of hearing individual has specific preferences for communication, thereby requiring interpreters to work within a continuum of service provision. Click here to see the directory of Interpreting Agencies & Communication Access Services.
Technological Devices for Communication
Maryland Relay provides free equipment for those who need to make/receive phone calls. The Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program offers a wide variety of solutions and tools, such as amplified phones to Braille TTYs to tablets. Please click to visit their website for more information.
Cued speech is a mode of communication based on the phonemes and properties of traditionally spoken languages. Cueing allows Deaf/hard of hearing individuals or individuals who have language/communication disorders to access the basic, fundamental properties of spoken languages through the use of vision.
Oral interpreting makes communication possible between Deaf/hard of hearing individuals and hearing individuals. Individuals who are “oralists” use speech and speechreading as their primary mode of communication; they may not know or use sign language. In the strictest sense, oral interpreting does not usually include the use of formal sign language. However, interpreters, upon the consumer’s request, can add natural gestures, fingerspell particular words, write numbers or the beginning letter of a word that is easily misread, and/or use signs to support words on the mouth. Just like sign language interpreting, oral interpreting must be provided by qualified, trained professionals. Interpreters may also “voice” for Deaf/hard of hearing individuals who do not use their own voices. Each Deaf/hard of hearing individual has specific preferences for communication, thereby requiring interpreters to work within a continuum of service provision.
CART and Captioning
- For more information about CART, captioning, and other forms of accommodations, please visit the Accommodations page.
Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources
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