Thanks to video remote interpreting (VRI), individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can access a sign language interpreter regardless of their location. However, this technology poses an important question. Does VRI comply with the requirements established under the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act? The short answer is: it depends.
What Is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
The ADA is a U.S. civil rights law that prohibitions discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. That includes jobs, schools, medical facilities, transportation, and all establishments that are open to the general public.
Under the ADA, many organizations are required to provide access to an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter when a deaf individual needs one to communicate. However, an ASL interpreter may not always be available to come onsite. And while VRI may seem to be the perfect solution, this isn’t always the case.
What Are the ADA Requirements for VRI?
For VRI to be considered ADA-compliant, it must meet certain requirements. These include:
- Providing real-time, full-motion video and audio over a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection or wireless connection.
- Delivering high-quality video images that don’t produce lags, choppy, blurry, or grainy images, or irregular pauses in communication.
- Providing sharply delineated images that are large enough to display the interpreter’s face, arms, hands, and fingers as well as the individuals face, arms, hands, and fingers—regardless of their body position.
- Providing a clear, audible transmission of voices.
Yet despite these requirements, many deaf individuals still face technical and communication issues when it comes to VRI. In some cases, it has even impacted their ability to receive appropriate medical care.
Best Practices for ASL Interpreting via Video Remote
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to minimize these issues. Recommendations from the National Association of the Deaf include, but aren’t limited to:
- Connecting to a dedicated high-speed, wide-bandwidth connection.
- Using a flat-panel LCD monitor with a minimum screen size of 19.5 inches.
- Using devices with cameras that provide a minimum video resolution of 720p. (The ideal resolution is 1080p60.)
- Testing your microphone beforehand and using noise canceling features.
- Placing the video screen no further than two feet from the person who needs an interpreter.
Don’t forget to check in with the person periodically, either. To ensure he or she feels comfortable using VRI, you may need to make adjustments to the video screen or the environment.
How Boostlingo Can Help
Now that you know how to meet the ADA-requirements, you may be wondering how to find a remote ASL interpreter when you need one. Using our VRI platform, you can connect with someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you need is an internet connection and a device with a webcam to get started.
For more information about video remote interpreting for ASL, contact Boostlingo today!