Answers to Common Questions
Communication Access FAQs
Here are some questions and answers that you may find helpful. If you have additional questions or need some information about our services that you do not find on our website, please contact us, we would be happy to help!
How do we contact the Referral Department?
For general inquiries, the Interpreter/CART Referral Department is open from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. The Interpreter/CART Referral Department can be reached at 603-224-1850 ext. 250. We can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by videophone at 603-968-5891.
If you have an emergency need for a sign language interpreter after normal business hours or on a weekend or holiday and your hospital has contracted with NDHHS for the Emergency Medical Interpreter Services (EMIS) program, please follow your hospital’s policies for after-hours emergencies.
If you have an emergency need for a sign language interpreter after normal business hours or on a weekend or holiday, and you are part of law enforcement or the medical or mental health community, you can make an after-hours request to the New Hampshire E911 Supervisor at 1-800-552-3202. This phone number is only for legal, medical, or mental health emergencies.
How do I make a Request?
The Interpreter/CART Referral Department accepts requests through our online request form, via email or by phone (603-224-1850 x250). Requests received via fax are not accepted. The requester (you, your business or your organization) is asked to provide the following information when making an interpreter or CART request:
- Business/Organization name, phone number, and address
- Date, time, and length of assignment
- Location and nature of the assignment and/or agenda
- Name(s) of Deaf/Hard of Hearing people involved
- Preferred mode of communication, if known (i.e., American Sign Language, Signed English, etc.)
- Names of preferred interpreters or CART providers (Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals may have a preference for specific interpreters or CART providers.)
- Name and phone number of the contact person for the day of the assignment
- Any other pertinent information
What if I need to make a change in the time or cancel the request after securing the interpreter through NDHHS?
You would contact the interpreter directly. NDHHS will provide you with a confirmation letter which includes the name and phone number/email address of the interpreter when they confirm her/him with you.
Who pays for services?
Interpreting services and CART services are considered communication access, and are part of making
- places of employment
- medical service providers
- federal, state, and municipal government entities
- public and private agencies and service providers
- public and private educational institutions
- performances and events open to the public (whether publicly or privately funded)
What is a referral fee?
Your organization/business will be billed a referral fee for using the interpreter/CART referral service. The referral fee is separate from the fees for service you will receive from the interpreter/CART reporter(s). The referral fee applies once the request has been filled and you have given the authorization for the confirmation of the interpreter/CART reporter. See the Referral Fee Schedule for costs. Please note there is a 4% processing charge when paying via credit card. This fee can be avoided by paying via check or money order.
How much do interpreters cost?
Freelance interpreters referred by NDHHS are self-employed, independent contractors. They set and negotiate their own fees, with the exception of jobs for the State of New Hampshire where New Hampshire state rates are honored. A copy of New Hampshire state rate fee schedule can be found here or by visiting http://www.education.nh.gov/career/vocational/documents/interp_guide.pdf (page 13).
What is American Sign Language?
American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language used by many people in the Deaf community and is a visual gestural language with its own grammar, syntax and structure. ASL is very different from English and can vary from region to region within the United States, similar to the way accents vary in different parts of the United States.
What is interpreting?
What does an interpreter do?
An interpreter allows people who use different languages to communicate. An interpreter’s responsibility is to accurately convey information from one person to another, in this case between a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person to a person who can hear. Interpreters are bound by a code of professional conduct which requires them to be impartial and that any information learned in the course of an interpreting assignment be kept strictly confidential.
What is CART and who uses it?
CART stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation. A CART reporter provides a display of the spoken conversation on either a large screen or a laptop computer. The CART reporter is similar to a court stenographer. The reporter types the spoken conversation verbatim into a stenotype machine that is connected to either a laptop or an LCD projector. Translation software translates the message into written English. The Deaf or Hard of Hearing person reads and follows the conversation via the laptop or the screen.
What is a Certified Deaf interpreter (CDI)?
A Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) is an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and has been certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. A Certified Deaf Interpreter may be needed when the communication mode of a deaf consumer is so unique that it cannot be adequately assessed or accessed by interpreters who are hearing. Some such situations may involve individuals whom:
- use idiosyncratic non-standard signs or gestures such as those commonly referred to as “home signs” which are unique to a family
- use a foreign sign language
- are deaf-blind or deaf with limited vision
- use signs particular to a given region, ethnic or age group
- have minimal or limited language skills
- have characteristics reflective of Deaf Culture and not familiar to hearing interpreters
- Legal or mental health situations may also require a Deaf interpreter whose first language fluency allows for more accurate interpretation
How do I work with an interpreter or CART reporter?
- Try to meet with the Interpreter or CART Reporter 10-15 minutes before the assignment to arrange placement, lighting, and backdrops so that the interpreter or CART Reporter and Deaf or Hard of Hearing participants can see one another well.
- Look at and talk directly to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing person.
- Speak at a normal rate.
- Be aware that, due to the interpreting process, there will be a slight time delay when communicating with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing consumer.
- Allow extra time for Deaf or Hard of Hearing participants to look at visual aids (notes on the board, overheads, etc.) before speaking again.
- In group settings it is important that people speak one at a time to allow the interpreter or CART reporter time to convey all the information accurately.
What are the different interpreting certifications and what do they mean?
National Certifications Recognized by the State of New Hampshire
Reach out to us today, we will be happy to help!