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Frequently Asked Questions

Is sign language the same all over the world?

No. American Sign Language (ASL) is used in the United States. It is a unique language with a distinct culture. Just as spoken languages have evolved throughout the world, various signed languages have also emerged in different parts of the world.

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Can deaf people read lips?

Only a small percentage of language is speech readable. Many words look the same on the lips. What the mouth can form is only a small portion of speech-reading. The other factors affecting speech reading ability are not visible in that manner.

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Why can't we just communicate by writing back and forth?

Besides the enormous amount of time it takes, ASL has a completely different structure than English. A simple example would be the phrase "I'm going to the store tomorrow." In ASL that would be changed to "Tomorrow store I go to." There is no verb tense other than the initial declaration of time, past, present or future. The pronouns are included in the verb, and ASL has no articles (the, a, an). Plurals are shown by repetition of a sign. Adjectives are placed after the nouns they describe. Adverbs are in the body language and expressions that comprise most of the language, and it simply isn't possible to express in writing.

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Why can't the deaf person just bring a family member to interpret?

There are a number of factors that come into play — ethical concerns, privacy, security, emotions and, perhaps most important, liability. Especially in emergency situations, it would be highly unethical to place a family member in the middle of a communication process when they need to be focusing on personal matters. In addition, subjects may come up that are inappropriate for a family member to be part of. Also, there is more danger of liability issues if a family member makes a mistake in the midst of stress or confusion. Incorrect medicine could be given, credit decisions could be misdirected and situations could go awry resulting in actions that could adversely affect the deaf person's life. It could even result in serious illness, injury or death. Qualified interpreters, specifically appropriate for the situation presented, should always be employed to facilitate the most favorable results and avoid problems.

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Someone in my office knows sign language. Can't that person interpret for us?

People with disabilities have the legal right to "qualified" interpreters, according to the meaning of that word in U.S. federal law. For example, interpreters are required to be impartial and to have a specific level of skills. For informal, brief, non-critical communication with deaf consumers (for example, taking an order in a restaurant, checking books out of the library, etc.) it is perfectly acceptable to be creative using signs, writing, miming, demonstration pictures and other ways to "talk." However, for any communication where accuracy for the deaf consumer, the hearing person, or both, is critical, an interpreter is required under law. You should ask, "Do you need an interpreter?" and if the response is "yes," then you must provide one. Typically communications at these venues are considered critical:

  • Hospitals
  • Urgent care
  • Doctor’s offices
  • School meetings
  • Parent/teacher conferences
  • University classrooms
  • Lectures presentations
  • Training sessions
  • Phone conference calls
  • Staff meetings
  • IEP meetings
  • Conferences
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Why should my business or organization provide On-Demand Video Interpreting services?

Interpreting is an effective means of providing access to your company or organization to a much broader segment of the population. Providing an interpreter saves time and reduces confusion, liability and frustration for all parties involved. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that a sign language interpreter be provided in order to give clear and concise communication and to prevent discriminatory treatment of deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. Using an interpreter ensures impartiality and confidentiality because everyone is able to participate equally in conversations and transactions, using his or her native language.

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How can I learn more about my responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Visit the ADA website.

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Is the deaf person responsible for payment?

No. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a business or organization cannot charge a person with a disability for the cost of the accommodation; for example, a sign language interpreter. For more information refer to the ADA website.

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What equipment is needed?

You will need a videophone (available from WIN Linked), Internet access and an electric outlet. Our videophones are available for purchase, for lease, and for unlimited-interpreting subscribers, a videophone may be included in your contract.

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How am I charged for remote video interpreting services?

That depends on the type of plan you choose and the number of video phones needed for your organization. We offer a wide range of options from usage-based, per-call or per-minute charges to unlimited interpreting on a monthly subscription basis. Videophones may be purchased or leased and are offered free with unlimited-interpreting subscriptions.

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Is there a minimum charge for each call placed?

Yes, except for unlimited-interpreting subscribers. Please contact us for details.

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Can On-Demand Video Interpreting be used for lengthier interactions?

Research shows that the longer the period of time the interpreter translates, the less accurate and effective the service becomes. So, if you are planning on using remote interpreting for a meeting or appointment that you expect take more than 30 minutes, it may be necessary for your WIN Linked call-center interpreter to transfer you to another team member and they may rotate, relieving each other approximately every 30 minutes to ensure the message is as accurate as possible for the full length of your assignment. In addition, using this 30-minute approach for an interpreting team ensures the professionals don't incur injuries that could put an early end to their careers. This type of team interpreting is standard practice in this profession.

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Isn't it expensive to provide interpreting services?

Interpreting services should be budgeted as part of your annual planning for accessibility services. It is true that, on a per-encounter basis, the cost for interpreting services can sometimes be more than the amount you generate in revenue for that encounter. However, if you consider the cost as part of your overhead over the course of a year, providing accessible services is quite reasonable.

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How do I know that what is discussed will be kept confidential?

All interpreters are expected to adhere to the RID Code of Ethics.

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How can I be sure my interpreter will behave ethically?

All RID-certified interpreters are required to follow the RID Code of Ethics. This code obligates interpreters to behave in a manner appropriate to their position. For example, interpreters may not add to, omit or change the message they are interpreting. All assignment-related information must remain confidential. Interpreters must use their judgment when working on an assignment and no personal opinions or advice can be interjected while interpreting. If you have any questions about the behavior of a WIN Linked interpreter, you should contact us immediately. You can also contact RID directly to find out how to file a grievance against an interpreter.

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Careers WeInterpret.net
How It Works

Use the one-touch dialing on our WIN Linked videophone and a live interpreter at one of our call centers appears on the screen.

The interpreter will sign everything the hearing person speaks, and will voice everything the deaf person signs, allowing them to communicate as if the interpreter were in the same room.

Equipment Needed

All you need is an Ethernet connection and a standard electric outlet to use our video phones, so there’s no large up-front investment required. And you can still use your computer on the same broadband connection.

We configure the video phone(s) to fit your system and ship it to you. Just plug it in and it boots up automatically. In less than a minute, WIN Linked is ready to use. Videophones are small and portable, and can be easily moved to any location where you have Internet access and power.

Our Interpreters

Over the years, WeInterpret has assembled a staff of more than 1,000 of the most skilled and reputable professionals in the industry.

Our interpreters are licensed and insured, and have passed background checks. In addition, WIN associates are certified through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and are bound by the RID Code of Ethics, which ensures confidentiality.

Choose Your Plan

WIN Linked offers a number of plans to meet a wide variety of needs.

From flat rate subscriptions with unlimited interpreting, a free videophone and special multiple-phone discounts, to per-call or per-minute rates based on usage, we’ll help you choose from our many options to customize a plan to fit your budget.

Ideal Uses

On-Demand Video Interpreting is a flexible, convenient and affordable solution that maintains privacy for your deaf customers and patients.

It’s perfect for pharmacies, medical practices, law offices, government agencies, retail stores and corporations and is ideal for emergencies, spur of the moment conferences and walk-in clients. WIN Linked is particularly effective for businesses with many deaf/hearing interactions or transactions each week.

Save Time & Money

Accommodating the deaf community and meeting ADA regulations is essential, but in-person interpreting can be expensive and time-consuming in planning and execution.

On-Demand Video Interpreting is a practical solution that can save money over typical interpreting costs. Contact us to learn more about plans and low rates that can help organizations of any size be ready to communicate on a moment’s notice.