Who is Interpret San Diego?

Interpret San Diego was founded in 2009. Our vision is to provide high quality service backed by over 20 years of high profile experience that also spans from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA. Interpret San Diego offers ASL interpreters in any setting, specializing in big events and large conferences. Whether an organization has on-site interpreting needs or wishes to use our on-demand Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) technology, our interpreters offer a strong understanding of Deaf culture. Interpret San Diego is a strong proponent of developing and providing quality interpreting in any setting. In short, we are proponents of access. While VRI is not ideal for many within the Deaf community, it does provide assistance to those in remote areas who might struggle to find an interpreter. There is also a role for VRI during disaster recovery when hundreds of first responders need quick access to interpreters and translators. 


What is your approach?

Sign language interpreters serve as a crucial communication tool utilized by all people involved in a specified communication setting. Interpreters listen to another person’s words, inflections and intent and simultaneously render them into the visual language of signs using the mode of communication preferred by the Deaf consumer. The interpreter will be able to comprehend the signs, inflections and intent of the Deaf consumer and simultaneously speak them in articulate, appropriate English. They will be able to understand the cultures in which they work and apply that knowledge to promote effective cross-cultural communications.


Are you and your co-interpreter certified?

Yes. Interpret San Diego only employs RID recognized and certified interpreters, which allow organizations to receive services from only officially qualified interpreters. Interpreters who hold NAD and RID certifications have been assessed by a review panel of professional interpreters, Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients, and hearing individuals and have been deemed qualified to interpret effectively in a variety of circumstances and situations. In addition, interpreters with these certifications adhere to a strict nation-wide Code of Professional Conduct. Using only certified interpreters helps to protect from legal ramifications that can occur when using those less qualified.


Why do I need to pay for two interpreters?

As a general rule, the number of interpreters referred will be agreed upon in advance based on the nature of the assignment. The decision to use a team rather than a sole interpreter is based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the length and/or complexity of the assignment; unique needs of the persons being served; physical and emotional dynamics of the setting; and/or avoidance of repetitive stress injuries for interpreters.

Interpret San Diego’s standard practice is that of the national norm: one (1) interpreter for requests of one hour or less depending on the situation or two (2) interpreters for requests requiring continuous interpreting for more than one hour or when the content is very dense.


Are there special considerations for educational settings?

Yes. The California State Department of Education Code (Section 3051.16) states that an educational interpreter working in the K – 12 setting shall be certified by the national RID; have achieved a score of 4.0 or above on the Educational Interpreter Performance Evaluation (EIPA) (by July 1, 2009), the ESSE-I, or the NAD/ACCI assessment or have met comparable requirements.

Interpret San Diego adheres to the certification requirements outlined in the California State Department of Education Code and does not partner with an interpreter who does not hold the appropriate certification. All interpreters are required to adhere to the appropriate code of professional conduct governing ethical behavior within the profession.


Are there special considerations for health care settings?

Yes. Title II of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the follow-on Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, addresses privacy and security concerns of patients as well as the legal burden placed on healthcare providers and its business associates.

Many of our interpreters recently underwent Healthcare Interpreter and HIPAA Training through Western Oregon University. Our CEO also became a Certified Community Emergency Responder by Los Angeles Fire Department in 2011. Eric Clifford, Interpret San Diego’s Chief Operating Officer, is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and is a recognized Subject Matter Expert on the topics of privacy and security.


I am a service provider. Do I need to provide and pay for interpreter or other services for a deaf or hard of hearing client/patient?

Businesses and services providers must ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This federal law applies to a wide range of “places of public accommodation,” including retail stores and the wide range of service businesses such as hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctors' and lawyers' offices, optometrists, dentists, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies and private schools.  It covers both profit and non-profit organizations.  Places of public accommodation must give persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and to benefit from their services.  They must modify their policies and practices when necessary to provide equal access to services and facilities.  In order to provide equal access, all public accommodations are required to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as qualified interpreters or captioning, when necessary to ensure effective communication.

Auxiliary aids and services must be provided unless the entity can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, or would constitute an undue burden (significant difficulty or expense).  Whether or not a particular auxiliary aid or service constitutes an undue burden depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and cost of the auxiliary aid or service, and the overall financial and other resources of the business.  The undue burden standard is applied on a case-by-case basis.  Undue burden is not measured by the amount of income the business is receiving from a deaf or hard of hearing client, patient, customer, or member of the public.  Instead, undue burden is measured by the overall financial impact on the whole entity.  Therefore, it is possible for a business to be responsible for providing auxiliary aids and services even if it does not make a sale or receive income from a deaf or hard of hearing person, if the cost of the auxiliary aid or service would not be an undue burden on its overall operation.

For more information, see ADA Title III: Public Accommodations.

Reference: http://nad.org/issues/about-law-and-advocacy-center/


Is Interpret San Diego’s video interpreting system, SoCal VRI, expensive to procure?

Hospitals, municipalities, and businesses alike pay nothing to set up an account with SoCal VRI – not now, not ever. Whether it will be used one time, once in a while, or daily, there are no costs associated with stations, computers, users, or accounts.


Does Interpret San Diego’s video interpreting system, SoCal VRI, require expensive equipment or software installations?

SoCal VRI is offered through the only Web-based video interpreting platform that works on virtually any browser. A webcam, Internet access, and a VRI account are all that is required. In short, any computer can become a video interpreting access point. In fact, Interpret San Diego, through its cloud-based service provider, VRI Direct, can provide access to interpreters of over 50 languages using the same web-based interface.


Does SoCal VRI require restrictive contracts to utilize its Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)?

Unless an organization is interested in reduced pricing, there are no contracts with SoCal VRI. Users can cancel their accounts at any time, without financial penalty.


Where can I learn ASL in San Diego?

Some people pick up signs more slowly than others, and if that is the case with you, don’t be discouraged. Everyone learns sign language at their own pace. Be patient and you will succeed in learning the language. The rewards will be well worth the effort!  (NAD, 2012).

For San Diegans, community colleges are a great place to start. Try . . .

Mesa College at www.sdmesa.edu
Palomar College at www.palomar.edu
Grossmont College at www.grossmont.edu


How do I get certified?

The first step is to become fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). The natural question then becomes, “How long does that take?” Well, how long does it take to become fluent in Japanese, Russian or any other foreign language?

Language fluency, be it spoken or visual, requires time, dedication, study, immersion in the language community, and constant practice. While you may have the potential to handle communication of simple concepts of daily life after just three classes, it will most likely take you years to be comfortably fluent in native conversations at normal rates discussing complex topics (RID, 2012).

Once you are fluent in ASL, you should begin your studies in an Interpreting Training Program (ITP).  Mesa College and Palomar College both offer classes in Interpreting.  For more information, please visit

Mesa College at www.sdmesa.edu
Palomar College at www.palomar.edu
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf at www.rid.org

Is Interpret San Diego an equal opportunity employer?

Yes! Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) means freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex, color, religion, national origin, disability and age. EEO rights are guaranteed by Federal and State fair employment laws and are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its state counterparts. Interpret San Diego proactively recruits, hires, and promotes women and minorities as well as disabled individuals and veterans. Email Info@InterpretSanDiego.com for more information.