Why do I need an interpreter?


Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf/Blind individuals communicate in various ways, depending on their degree of deafness, the age they lost their hearing, and their educational and environmental background.

Common Misconceptions are:

  • All sign language users can read lips
  • All sign language users can read and write in English
  • All sign language users who can speak can also understand what you say

Please remember that your ability to understand someone who uses sign language does not mean they can understand you. They may have questions to ask even if you do not. Communication must work both ways and everyone has the right to have access to information. Miscommunication can result in information not being received and serious needs going unmet.

Writing notes is not always an option for someone who uses sign language. English may not be their first language or they may be monolingual and are only fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

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