NOTE: We rather firmly believe that ALL students would benefit from true access instead of perceived access - to their academic surroundings. Perceived access is when there is someone 'signing' or written material being passed back and forth, ineffectively providing communication access. The hearing people who are involved, and don't know sign language, see someone moving their hands and feel that communication access is being facilitated. Or, the student's language literacy level is such that they are not fully comprehending the information that is being shared with them, yet the hearing people think that they should. True access is when a certified/qualified interpreter is interpreting with the student. They interpret not only the material being taught by the teachers, but also interpret the student's peer communications. With true access, we are more likely to successfully support the student's access to social development, as well as their access to academic development - in their own language. We have a certified master mentor on our team who can come to your site and help you determine the effectiveness of your present means of access. We can also present an in-service for your team on how to use an interpreter via VRI most effectively.
Click links below for more information:
(NOTE: Above is the title of an article - Deaf and Hard of Hearing is more acceptable than 'Hearing Impaired' in the D/HH Community)
REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF (RID)
National Assocation of the Deaf (NAD)
We agree with NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum (video in the above link). When the need arises for an interpreter within a medical setting - the use of VRI needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. For the most part, we agree to use VRI for short-term communication access until an on-site interpreter can arrive and take over the provision of services.