SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING SERVICES Brochure
PITTSBURGH LANGUAGE ACCESS NETWORK (spoken language interpreting)
[Back to Programs and Services]
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 LANGUAGE Interpretation (ASL or Spoken Language)
At HDS, we offer both sign language and foreign language (spoken) interpretation in order to facilitate communication in all settings. LANGUAGE interpreters help give persons who are deaf and English learners who have limited English proficiency (LEP) equal access to communication, thus avoiding linguistic isolation.
Many deaf people rely on sign language as their primary mode of communication. Just like English, sign language has many forms and dialects, depending on a person’s background, education, geography, and the age at which they became deaf. However, significant differences in the grammatical structure of the two languages often create communication gaps.
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.
Sign Language interpreters bridge the communication barrier between hearing and deaf persons by conveying the purpose, thought, and spirit of the message in a consumers’ preferred mode of communication from oral transliterating to American Sign Language. Additionally, the interpreter maintains strict confidentiality and complies with the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. Interpreters work in many settings: Legal, Business, Training, Meetings, Mental Health, Medical, Interviews, Educational, and Social.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), gives persons who are deaf or hard of hearing the right to accessible communication. In many situations, this calls for qualified interpreters to facilitate interactions between persons with a hearing loss and hearing persons. The ADA mandates that public or private entities are responsible for providing this accessibility. [Click here to visit the ADA website]
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 (ASL or 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
- if the client is deaf-blind
- 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
[Click Here to Request an Interpreter]
Please fill out the request form and choose the language needed.
Spoken Language Interpreting Services are currently available for: Arabic, Burmese, Nepali
Please contact HDS Interpreting Department to request an Interpreter Price List.
Guidelines for using the services of an Interpreter
- Establish ground rules that only one person speak or sign 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 or signed during this encounter.
- Interpreters will abide by the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.
- Information will be treated as confidential.
- Interpreters will not offer his/her opinion.