ASL Interpreter Referral Service

Sign Language Interpreting

At ASLIRS, Inc, all interpreters are NIC, RID-certified, EIPA or ASL screened. The first, and most important, step is to ASK the client about their accommodation needs.

Interpreters can enable communication in a variety of ways,
such as, but not limited to:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
    • A visual-gestural language with vocabulary and grammar different from English.
  • Pidgin Sign Language (PSE)
    • A system of communication that is a manual representation of English in which American Sign Language signs are used in English.
  • Manual Coded English (MCE)
    • Communication by use of signs and fingerspelling.
  • Minimal Language Skills (MLS)/Minimal Language Competency (MLC)
    • May incorporate the use of one or more of the following; gestures, signs, pictures, objects, home signs, and specific vocabulary related to that individual. Repetition and rephrasing may be required to ensure understanding. Used with those who have no formal sign language, were never exposed to formal language, and/or use another foreign sign language.
  • Signed Exact English (SEE)
    • A form of sign language that uses signs in English word order.
  • Oral Communication
    • Communication through speaking, listening, and speechreading, without the use of sign language.
  • Oral Interpreting
    • The interpreter mouths (without voice) what the speaker says using some natural gestures and facial expression.
  • Tactile Interpreting
    • A hands-on interpreting method used with people who are deaf and blind. The interpreter communicates what the speaker says by signing and/or fingerspelling into the hands of the deaf-blind person.

The Interpreter’s Role

  • The interpreter strives to convey the speaker’s thoughts, feeling and attitude.
  • The interpreter is a person who facilitates communication between deaf and hearing
  • The interpreter acquired Interpreter Training Program (ITP), has studied techniques and ethics to be professional interpreter.

How to Work with an Interpreter: Guidelines and Tips

  • Treat the interpreters as professionals. The interpreter is not a personal assistant for the deaf individual, and should only be asked to facilitate communication.
  • Speak directly to the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing client, not the interpreter.
    • Appropriate: “What is your name?”
    • Inappropriate: “Ask what his/her name is?”
  • Don’t ask the interpreter to omit anything.
  • Do recognize that all information discussed is confidential.
  • Don’t ask the interpreter to interject personal opinions.
  • Provide good lighting, even if auxiliary lighting is necessary.
  • Be aware that interpreting is physically and mentally fatiguing to both the interpreter
    and the client.
  • Check for breaks as needed.

Interpreters' Code of Ethics

A code of professional conduct is a necessary component to any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere. It brings about accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals that the profession serves.

RID, along with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), co-authored the ethical code of conduct for interpreters. Both organizations uphold high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for interpreters. At the core of this code of conduct are the seven tenets, which are followed by guiding principles and illustrations.

The tenets are to be viewed holistically and as a guide to complete professional behavior. When in doubt, one should refer to the explicit language of the tenet.


  • Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
  • Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
  • Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
  • Interpreters engage in professional development.

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or call us at 800-275-7551.

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ASL Interpreter Referral Service, Inc. | 21 Clyde Road, Suite 103, Somerset, NJ 08873 | 800-275-7551 | Email | Interpreter Login
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