You Have a Right to a Certified and Qualified Interpreter
Outside of a courtroom or public school there are no laws in Texas that protect people from uncertified interpreters. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that an interpreter needs to be “qualified” but says noting of certification. People may not know how to determine if an interpreter is qualified and they may not know that certification is the best way to determine qualification. If you are not sure of an interpreter’s abilities, you can ask to see their card. Or if you are trying to explain to someone why you don’t want to use a particular person, use their certification card or lack of certification card as support. All interpreters should have their certification cards with them when they work. If you are working with a Hired Hands interpreter and she/he does not have their card with them, you can contact our office. We keep copies of all interpreters’ certifications on file and one can be sent for you to verify. Hired Hands interpreters also have ID badges that let you know that they are certified either nationally or through the state. If you ever receive unethical or unprofessional service from an uncertified interpreter, there is nothing that can be done to hold them accountable. When someone is not CERTIFIED they don’t have to follow any rules and there is no one making sure they are trained and continuing their professional development.
Not every interpreter will be a good match for you. It doesn’t mean that the interpreter is bad, she/he is just not a good match. This can be because of your language needs and their skills, or it may be that your personalities just don’t fit. If you work with an interpreter that fits you well or an interpreter that is not a good match, ask them for a business card. On the back write what you liked or didn’t like about the interpreter. Then after your encounter, contact our office to give us that feedback. We will add the interpreter to your preferred list or make a note that you would prefer not to work with them again. You can also let us know if the interpreter is good for some things like your work and social events, but you prefer a different interpreter for medical appointments. Hired Hands will make every effort to keep track of your preferred list of interpreters and the interpreters you would prefer not to work with. Keep in mind that you should always have at least 5 interpreters on your preferred list. There are a lot of Deaf people and sometimes it is difficult for everyone to get who they want when they want them. Having a good list allows us to make sure we do our best to assign you the interpreters you prefer. If we’re unable to fulfill your request, we are then able to find someone who has similar skill and style based on your previous feedback.
Confirming Your Appointment
If you have a doctor’s appointment, work meeting, or any other event where you have requested interpreting services, contact our office and we can tell you if the request has been made to us and who your assigned interpreter will be. Never feel like you must wait until your appointment to see if an interpreter is being provided or who it will be.
Sometimes doctors’ offices or businesses forget to call us or they are confused that it is their responsibility. However, please keep in mind that we cannot force someone to use us. A hospital or company may have contracts with other agencies and individuals who provide interpreting services. If that happens and you are not happy with the service you receive, contact the requester and let them know. If you inform them kindly and respectfully that what they provided you is not your preference or is not working, we hope that they will show you the same kindness and respect by listening to what you need. You can always refer them to contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions they may have about interpreting or try to help them understand what has caused you to not be satisfied.