Settlement Underscores Importance of Hiring Certified Sign Language Interpreters

A&A Languages, a Centennial interpretation and translation agency, reached an agreement relating to the use of certified sign language interpreters. A&A and the plaintiffs — two Deaf women and the husband of one — assert that the agreement serves to clarify the benefits and importance of utilizing sign language interpreters who have been certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). This is important in communications involving health care and human service resources. A&A affirmed that it will continue its practice of hiring and assigning only sign language interpreters who are certified by the RID. Disability Law United urges other translation agencies who provide interpretation services to use RID-certified interpreters.

The Colorado Consumer Protection Act specifies that it is a “deceptive trade practice” to claim to be a “sign language interpreter” if the person is not in fact RID certified. RID certification is important for those who sign and those who do not and who require accurate and prompt communications with one another, for example, in crucial medical or social services interactions. The promptness, accuracy and skill possessed by a certified sign language interpreter can promote efficient and effective communications involving complex and difficult communications in a variety of settings.

Certified interpreters are required to demonstrate skills necessary to discuss complex matters. They also are required to adhere to standards of professionalism and confidentiality designed to ensure that all parties involved, regardless of their signing ability or identity, receive effective communication in medical, social services, and business contexts.

A&A Languages, founded in 2002, is one of the leading providers of interpretation and translation services in Colorado. It provides interpretation and translation services in over 80 languages, including American Sign Language.

The plaintiffs and Disability Law United applaud A&A for agreeing to continue to use only certified sign language interpreters. “A&A is a full-service interpretation and translation agency, providing services to Coloradans from around the world, and also to Deaf, hearing, and hard of hearing Coloradans needing sign language interpretation.”

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