Business and Management

All About ASL Legal Interpreters

Deaf persons have the legal right to obtain a qualified translator. From a legal perspective, qualified legal translators have certain skills to ensure that the right of the deaf to attend and participate is not violated.

Legal sign language translating requires highly qualified and trained specialists because of the considerable consequences for the people involved in the event of a failed communication. In addition to attorney/client conferences, the legal interpretation also includes court translation, law enforcement investigations, deposits, witness interviews, real estate settlements, judicial treatment, educational programs, and administrative/legislative hearings.

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Qualified translators

Legal translators are subject to the NAD-RID code of conduct, according to which translators "must possess the necessary skills and professional knowledge for each interpretation situation".

The Disabled American Act requires the use of "qualified translators." In the Implementing Regulations, a qualified interpreter is defined as "a person who can interpret receptively and expressively effectively, accurately and impartially using the required specialist vocabulary".

Most legal assignments usually require at least two translators. Because legal tasks are usually more complex, translators often work in teams and allow each other free time at designated times.

One interpreter actively interprets while the other interpreter watches to ensure accuracy of the interpretation. The process is alternated at appropriate intervals between the two interpreters.

Flora Wilson