Spoken Language Interpreting Services

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Pittsburgh Language Access Network (PLAN), formerly Language Link, was founded in 2012 as a professional interpreting service for spoken languages.  Initially, this service was created as a collaboration between the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services Inc., Northern Area Multi Service Center, and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh.  As of 4/1/2015, we have re-named the spoken language interpretation program to the acronym PLAN which stands for Pittsburgh Language Access Network.

Special thanks to the Jefferson Regional Foundation for providing support during this transition year.

The need for Spoken Language Interpretation

In the case of immigrant and refugee clients who are in the long process of learning English as their second (or other) language, providing an interpreter is necessary -especially if the person is unfamiliar with specialized vocabulary or the context of the interaction anticipated during a scheduled appointment. Spoken Language interpreters provide communication between native speakers of English and native speakers of other languages.

Federal laws related to overcoming language barriers by providing meaningful language access (via spoken language interpreters), for immigrant and refugee clients and consumers, include: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin; and Executive Order 13166, issued by President Clinton, which added discrimination based on limited English proficiency. Many federal programs, as well as certain state and local regulations, have provisions requiring language services for LEP individuals. Visit the LEP website:   http://www.lep.gov/faqs/faqs.html

Scheduling an Interpreter (Spoken Language) through HDS

Interpreters are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

During emergencies, we have been able to have an interpreter on site in an hour or less.

When calling to schedule an interpreter, the following information must be provided for EACH request.

  • date(s), time(s) (start and end), location(s)
  • name and phone number of contact person responsible for payment
  • name(s) of client(s) or consumer(s)
  • consumer’s choice of interpreter(s)
  • directions to the assignment/parking information
  • which language has been identified as the client’s language of preference
  • reason or purpose for this assignment
  • on-site contact name and phone number

Fillable Request Form for desktop use  can be downloaded and choose the language needed in the drop down menu.

Foreign Language Interpreting Services:
Arabic Italian  Kurdish  Serbo-Croatian
Brazilian Portuguese Karen  Lingala  Spanish
Burmese Kikuyu  Mandarin Chinese  Swahili
French Kinyarwanda  Nepalese  Tshiluba
Hungarian Kirundi  Russian  Uzbek

Please contact HDS Interpreting Department to request a Spoken Language Interpreter Price List.

Guidelines for using the services of an Interpreter

  • Establish ground rules that only one person speak at a time.
  • Speak in a natural tone of voice and a normal rate of speed.
  • Speak directly to the client, not to the interpreter.
  • Interpreters will interpret everything that is said during this encounter.
  • Information will be treated as confidential.
  • Interpreters will not offer his/her opinion.
Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. © 2017