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Helpful Hints for Hiring Interpreters

A deaf person deserves the most skilled interpreter available. If possible, ask them in advance if they prefer to work with a certain interpreter or have any other specific preferences.

Be prepared to give the interpreter, or referral service, the following information:

  • The date and time
  • The deaf person's preference for American Sign Language (ASL) or English-like signing
  • The setting (job interview, counseling session, lunch meeting, technical presentation, etc.)
  • The length of time the interpreter will have to work
  • The deaf person's name
  • The name and phone number of the contact person
  • Location and directions
  • Procedure and address for submitting the bill

Scheduling the interpreter

If possible, call the interpreter with a few possible dates and find out when they are available, then finalize the date of the meeting with the other parties. (This prevents the problem of having a meeting set and no interpreter available.)

If your group is going to have subsequent meetings, plan all your dates while the interpreter is there and make sure the interpreter is available and can commit to those dates.

Do you need two interpreters?

If your event will last more than two hours, or if it is a high stress job, such as stage interpreting, ask the interpreter if they will require a second interpreter as for back-up and relief.

The interpreter or the deaf person may request an intermediary interpreter called a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) to assist with communications when the situation requires.


Ask the interpreter what the entire cost will be. They should be able to give you an estimate based on the length of the job and other charges, such as mileage, travel time, minimum hours, retainer fees, as well as advise you of their cancellation policy.