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Frequently
Asked
Questions

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WHY CALL A SIGN INTERPRETER?

To example a medical appointment, failure to establish effective communication with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual may expose a health care provider to liability for a medical malpractice.  Explanation of medical care cannot be effective without an interpreter.

WHY CAN’T I WRITE NOTES?

American Sign Language (ASL)  is not English.  As with many other foreign languages, English concepts are not directly translatable into ASL.  It is a common misconception that ASL is a pantomime of the English language and therefore understood in written form by deaf individuals.  While this may be the case in some situations,  not all people are the same.  Written notes will not necessarily convey the intended message.

DO DEAF PEOPLE READ LIPS?

Actually 40 to 60 percent of English sounds look alike when spoken, so lip reading requires a lot of guesswork.  Even the best lip readers only understand 25-30% of what is said to them. 'Hello, how are you?' can be easily understood, but the intricate details of the rest of the conversation may be missed or misunderstood.

WHY CAN’T FAMILY MEMBERS INTERPRET?

Family members are not interpreters, nor do they have the skills to interpret all information.  In a medical situation, for instance, they are also emotionally involved and may not interpret everything for fear of upsetting the deaf patient.  The deaf patient also may not want their medical history known to family or friends.  HIPAA requirements are in effect at this time.