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Resource Guide: State Procurement of Sign Language Interpreting Services

Whenever using sign language interpreting services for Deaf and hard of hearing constituents, state agencies should always use certified interpreters to ensure that effective communication takes place between both parties and to protect entities from liability.

Visual Communication Services Contract

The state of Maryland has a contract with sign language interpreting agencies to provide interpreting services to Maryland state agencies, local governments, counties, municipalities, and non-profits. As part of the contract, each region in the state has a specific, designated sign language interpreting agency. To see the different regions and learn more about the available interpreting services, please see here. When placing a request, state personnel need to inform the vendor that the request is part of the state contract.

Designated Object Line for Interpreting Services

Beginning FY18 (July 1, 2017), all Maryland state agencies are to record their expenditure activity on sign language interpreting services under a new comptroller object line: 0834 Sign Language Interpreter Services. Agencies that already have an existing object line exclusively for sign language interpreting expenditures are to use the new comptroller object starting in FY18.

Due to a lack of consistency in using a designated object line for exclusively sign language interpreting expenditures, it is difficult to get reliable data about state spending for sign language interpreting services. With the new comptroller object line, the office and the Department of Budget and Management will be able to monitor and assess state agencies’ expenditure activity on sign language interpreting services.