General Communication Techniques

  1. It is important to get the person's attention before speaking. Since deaf people cannot hear usual calls for attention, they may need a tap on the shoulder or other visual signals to gain their attention (i.e. flicker lights on and off when entering a room, wave, etc.).
  2. Maintain eye contact with the deaf person and face them directly when speaking, not the interpreter or signer.
  3. Speak slow and clearly - avoid shouting, exaggeration and overemphasis of words.
  4. Be aware of bright spotlights or insufficient light.
  5. Don't be embarassed to communicate via pencil and paper.

"Signer" vs. "Interpreter"

A signer is someone who is acquiring or has acquired skills in American Sign Language to communicate with deaf people regardless of the course level s/he has taken, with no formal training in interpreting or ASL linguistics.

- Personal employment, family communication, partner, friend, etc.

A qualified & certified interpreter is someone trained in an interpreting program and/or is certified by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

- Utmost emphasis on interpreting education, training, certificate advancement and retaining integrity of the profession.


ASL Alphabet

American Sign Language Video Dictionaries and Quizzes

Deaf Access Services Video Remote Interpreting

Video Interpreting Public Service Announcement