Why Not Use a Family Member or Friend to Interpret?   

There are many good reasons NOT to use a family member or friend to interpret.

  • Generally, family members are not qualified, objective, nor do they need to adhere to a code of ethics.
  • Most family members or friends do not have the sign language skills to provide effective communication in professional situations.
  • They are not objective in the situation therefore if they feel the Deaf or hard of hearing person would become upset or “couldn’t handle it”, they may not convey everything that was said.
  • They do not have to adhere to a code of professional conduct so they may not be confidential with the information that was conveyed.
  • It increases your risk of liability when you use someone who may misinterpret what is said during an assignment or openly discusses the situation with people outside of your place of work.

Professional interpreters/captionists are highly trained, skilled, experienced, and objective. Many interpreters have specialties in certain areas such as medical or legal. They comply with the Code of Professional Conduct strictly adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and/or the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), as well as National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) for providing C-Print® speech-to-text captioning services. They are required to maintain their certification with continuous training and mandatory CEU’s.