ASL Remote Interpreting: A 6 Piece Cheat Sheet to Ace Your Next ASL Meeting (Part 1)

Welcome back to our blog. With punch bowls cleaned and opinable sweaters safely stored on the uppermost shelves of our closets, it’s time to get back to work. And what better way to start the year with than a good old cheat sheet. Better still: a list that helps your business be more inclusive.

The turmoils of the past year do not require particular highlighting. With everything that’s been happening, it’s no wonder our LingPerfect Interpreting team has seen a surge in demand for remote interpreting

Inside remote interpreting, though, there is a specific service we haven’t talked about yet. What happens when you need to set up a meeting with the Deaf or Hard of hearing community members? How does the presence of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter affect the setting?

Because ASL remote interpreting requires both audio and visual support, the choice between Phone (OPI) and Video (VRI) is clear. 

But is choosing VRI all it takes to ace your ASL Remote interpreting session? Not quite. And here’s a checklist that will help you ace it.

Tip 1: Set up a pre-meeting before your ASL remote interpreting session

With interpreting, think of the language expert as an extension to the speaking party. A lot of what is said is conveyed with facial expressions and body language. And nowhere is this truer than in ASL interpreting

Getting to know your “eyes and ears” in advance is worth a treasure for both the interpreter and your attendee. So if you can, set up a pre-meeting between the ASL language expert and the attendee requiring the interpretation. Your meeting’s success will be guaranteed.

Tip 2: Help your ASL remote interpreter prepare

Yes. Another prep-step. But you know the drill: planning is half the success. As any language expert, ASL interpreters, too, juggle between a wealth of terms and expressions. They might have used the sign for deforestation sometime in their life, but it doesn’t mean they can call it up off the cuff. 

Help your ASL interpreter by sending the agenda and any useful material like presentations to allow time to dust off any rusty terms.

Tip 3: Don’t save on bandwidth for your ASL remote interpreting meeting.

The success of your ASL remote interpreting session is directly opposed to the number of screen freezes and lagging audio. Make sure you’re plugged into a speedy network. If possible—even if it sounds obsolete—connect your device to the router directly with w WLAN cable. Cable still beats WiFi, even in 2021.

More on ASL Remote interpreting next week

We made our cheat sheet into a diptych lest it would be too much after so much eggnog and (Zoom) get-togethers with family. Tune in next week to discover the second set of tips for a successful ASL remote interpreting meeting.