A sign language interpreter is the best way to establish communication between people that use spoken languages and signed for conversation. But if it is your very first time communicating through an interpreter, you are likely to have doubts and must know what are the do’s and don’ts to make communication as effective as possible. Here are the 10 best tips to that will make it easy for you: While speaking to someone with hearing impairment, it is advised that you don’t look at the interpreter but make direct communication with the deaf person. This helps them understand that the information is for them and they pay close attention to your conversation the whole time.
While speaking to someone with deafness, you don’t have to change your tone and speaking style. The sign language interpreter will easily interpret your statements into sign. Be yourself, just like you would be during a voice-to-voice conversation with a person. Furthermore, avoid statements such as “explain to him/her” or “tell them”.
A sign language interpreter not just communicates your verbal cues, but also translates your non-verbal cues into signs for effective communication. During this they are likely to glance at you and also the audience. This require them to take a position where they can be seen by audience and also see you to pick up the non-verbal cues.
The tone and pace of the conversation should be kept normal for the interpreter to effectively communicate your statements. It is very common for a sign language interpreters to indicate you to slow down or pause. Also, using difficult words can make the job much tough for the interpreter as they might be unfamiliar with it. They might even stop and ask you to spell it.
Using notes and presentations elevate the experience of audience. But to make things more comprehensive for people with hearing challenge, it is suggested that you provide a copy to the person and also the interpreter beforehand for faster communication and easy understanding.
This requires you to also provide other material to the interpreter and deaf person such as written note, agendas, minutes; as it helps them relate well to whatever you are saying easily.
If you are likely to lower the lights during the presentation, we suggest you to use a small uni-directional spot light if you can. This will help you maintain enough light for the interpreter to be seen and make communication easy for deaf person.
Make sure that your interpreter is not skipping anything you say. Ask them to not refrain from communicating anything that you are saying, it is very important as that is how you would want it to be.
Avoid personal conversations with interpreter during the interpreting session. This might break their concentration also put them in a tough spot. Maintain professionalism, as they are not participants but a medium of communication.
Be open to communicate your doubts to the sign language interpreter. If this is your first time communicating through an interpreter, it is likely to make you a little nervous. Relax and ask how to proceed in a particular situation.