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The Truth About Sign Language Interpreter Availability

If your work requires you to regularly arrange for the services of a sign language interpreter, you know well the challenge of booking a qualified interpreter when you need one. There are many things to consider when attempting to book a sign language interpreter....

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Frequently asked questions

Answers to common questions when booking a sign language interpreter.

Can you guarantee me that an interpreter will be available for my booking?

Truth? We can’t.

What we can guarantee is that your booking will be processed speedily and will have equal priority. We won’t prioritize bookings that are more profitable over yours. We won’t tell you that we have an interpreter for your booking, only to tell you a few days prior to the start date of your booking that you don’t.

Our process is completely transparent and we welcome you to monitor our progress 24/7.

How soon will you know if you have an interpreter available?
On average, we are able to present you with sign language interpreters to select from within 30 minutes. Upon being notified of an interested and available interpreter, you can select and confirm the interpreter for your booking as quickly as you are able.

We encourage our customers to confirm interpreters ASAP given the fluidity of interpreter availability.

How do I know if I need more than one interpreter?
It can be a little tricky to determine how many interpreters are needed for your booking. When attempting to determine how many interpreters you need, consider two things, accuracy and the wellbeing of the interpreter. Use the following questions to assess if you need more than one interpreter.

  • Is the subject matter so dense, technical, or jargon-laden that people without first-hand knowledge of the environment have a difficult time comprehending what is being said?
  • When the length of time you have scheduled your book is combined with the nature of the topic/subject matter do you believe it too mentally and physically demanding for just one interpreter?
  • Is the nature of the engagement at the event or meeting fast paced?
  • Are there any physical barriers in the environment where the interpreter will be working that will make it difficult to do their work?
  • Does the number of people in attendance impact the work the interpreter will need to do?
  • Is your subject matter emotionally triggering?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely need more than one interpreter for your booking. Read more about determining the number of interpreters for your booking.


Also, feel free to live chat, email, or call us to discuss (info below). We are happy to help you determine the number of interpreters needed for your booking. 

Why do agencies providing sign language interpreting services charge a 2-hour minimum?
A 2-hour minimum service fee is implemented primarily to address two things:

  1. To uphold industry standard practice. This practice ensures that interpreters agreeing to interpret bookings that are shorter in duration receive adequate compensation for their time commitment.
  2. To ensure that there is sufficient return to cover the administrative effort associated with the provision of the services.

* Note, there are some agencies that have a 1-hour minimum and a 1-hour administrative charge per interpreter. Essentially, this is also a 2-hour minimum. There are also agencies that charge 2-hours of service time and a 1-hour administrative charge, which is essentially a 3-hour minimum. 

What happens if I need to cancel my booking?
The simple answer is, it depends. Primarily, it depends on the timing of the cancellation. Typically, if you cancel your booking with greater than 48-hours notice, you will not be charged for the service. However, cancel within that time, you will be charged for the entirety of the scheduled service.

Some agencies have a 72-hour cancellation policy, others have a 2-full business days notice cancellation policy.

It is important to be aware of the cancellation policy of the agency you are working with. 

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