As many know and acknowledge, deaf history month is celebrated from March 13 – April 15 every year. It sits between the month of March and April to highlight some of the key milestones in Deaf History between these dates:
March 13, 1988: I. King Jordan named the first Deaf president of Gallaudet University.
April 8, 1864: President Abraham Lincoln signs the charter for Gallaudet University in Washington, the first school for the advanced education of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing in the world.
April 15, 1817: The American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, opens. It was the first permanent public school for the Deaf.
At Boostlingo, we are celebrating Deaf History Month by spotlighting how Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is the fastest growing interpreting service for the Deaf interpretation requestors in the United States.
Why VRI for the Deaf?
Video Remote Interpreting provides qualified interpreter services to ensure effective communication to individuals who speak a foreign language, are deaf or who communicate using sign language. VRI uses video conferencing technology to connect and communicate with people at a different location. It is most commonly used in a wide variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, mental health care settings, corporate institutions and other workplaces.
Today, many hospitals and medical providers are required to have effective communication options for patients who are deaf. For deaf people who communicate primarily in sign language, qualified sign language interpreters may be the only effective communication option. Failing to obtain qualified interpreters for medical interpreting can put patients’ health at risk. One way to minimize these risks is to provide a qualified sign language interpreter through VRI technology. Sometimes, a qualified sign language interpreter is always available on-site, or aren’t able to make it in time if the matter is urgent, which is where VRI comes in. Here are a few ways VRI is helping to provide client-focused services for the deaf.
The Benefits of VRI for the Deaf
Fast Responses in an Urgent Situation
When clients or patients have a need for communication that is urgent, VRI can provide interpreting services within a matter of seconds. For patients or clients who are deaf, it may be hard to find someone who can interpret ASL right on the spot, which is why VRI would come in handy.
The visual support associated with Video Remote Interpreting can provide enhanced accuracy for spoken language and American Sign Language (ASL). This enhanced technology can really make it feel as if the interpreter is sitting right in the room with the patient or client.
On-Demand all the Time
Whether the situation is urgent or not, certain situations aren’t planned in advance which means an on-site interpreter will most likely not be available. With VRI allows access whenever needed. 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Guaranteed Quality of Services
With VRI, you have the benefit of having the option to have interpreters that specialize in specific areas such as (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and other specializations). This is essential for a Deaf patient or client to gain an accurate understanding of what is being interpreted. If those interpreters working in these settings don’t have the training they need, the Deaf individual will suffer the fallout. Conversely, when qualified interpretation is taking place, the Deaf individual is able to fully understand what is being portrayed to them.
This goes hand in hand with fast responses, in an urgent situation. Rather than a service requester consistently trying to contact individual interpreters over a period of days or weeks, VRI providers can contract with specific deaf service interpreters. This can be especially beneficial when considering the amount of time it takes to locate and schedule interpreters for recurring appointments. Additionally, these interpreters will most likely always be licensed to practice Sign Language interpreting.
The Deaf Person Doesn’t Stand Out
Quite often in settings will the Deaf individual be singled out due to have someone walking around with them as their “helper.” With VRI, this doesn’t need to happen. They will have the ability to log on when communication is needed and log off when it is not. The freedom and convenience of VRI is not exaggerated. It enables a level of independence and equal footing with their peers that could not otherwise exist.
The enforcement of VRI around the nation is dramatically improving the experience for Deaf individuals and is a giant step in the right direction for everyone involved. In observance of Deaf History Month we at Boostlingo provide VRI technology to our providers deaf or ASL patients/clients. We have seen what VRI can do, how it can benefit everyone involved.