Sign Language Interpretation. Interpreting is an act of communication that consists of transmitting the content of an original message issued in a specific language to another understandable to the receiver. The interpreter becomes a linguistic and cultural mediator between both communities, that is: a transmitter of information. In order for an interpretation to be carried out effectively, the content and structure of a message must be understood and decoded, in order to later be able to reproduce it adequately in the other language. Sign language interpreting is similar to other interpreting services and requires a high level of skill to perform successfully. The interpreter must be fluent in Sign Language, as well as fluent in the different native signs of the region of origin of the deaf people for whom he/she is interpreting.
Sign language refers to language through signs made with the hands, mouth and other movements, through which people with hearing disabilities and/or speech difficulties communicate. According to the World Federation of Deaf People, there are more than 70 million deaf people in the world and the different communities have been creating natural linguistic systems in each country or region, which have given rise to the different sign languages. It is estimated that there are more than 300 sign languages in the world and, like auditory-phonetic languages, they are recognized as a full language.
In recent years, it has been demanded that there be more inclusion for deaf and hard of hearing people, since like any other person they deserve full access to information, to communicate with others properly and to the services offered by society. Businesses, governments and society in general must commit to ensuring these people more inclusion through barrier-free accessibility to information and the opportunity to communicate fluidly with others. This is achieved by teaching the respective sign language of each country, ensuring that the media are accessible to deaf people, hiring sign interpreters in companies, etc.
Hearing impairment is an invisible disability, but many citizens in every country live with it. Communication barriers are high, taking into account that very few hearing people know the official language of people with hearing disabilities in different countries and in few places are there enough trained interpreters to meet the demand of deaf people in person. It is important to remember that not everyone who knows sign language is automatically an interpreter, to be one they must receive professional training. For example, being a bilingual speaker does not make anyone an interpreter, it is necessary to receive professional training in order to have this title.
In companies, to ensure inclusion and accessibility, it is recommended to offer sign language interpretation in all the events that are held, it is also good to be constantly raising awareness among all personnel in relation to the treatment of the deaf community and to have a person who communicate in sign language. Having the instructions, regulations, manuals, and contracts in videos with sign language interpretation is of great value. In addition, it would be important to encourage people in the company to learn this language. Governments and the media also have a great task in this area, interpreting only for presidential debates or breaking news is not enough, not giving them full access to information is a lack of respect and a violation of human rights of deaf people.
“For deaf people, access to sign language is key to breaking down communication barriers and being able to participate in society like anyone else,” said Lea Labaki, junior disability rights researcher for Human Rights Watch. “The right of deaf people to access schools, medical treatment or courts depends on the opportunity to use their own language.”
There is no doubt that the system we live in is unfortunately not inclusive enough. Younger generations are becoming more concerned about this and have a broader vision of inclusion than ever before, there is still a long way to go as a society, but the fact that more people are raising awareness and demanding change gives hope for it to happen system changes. Change is in the hands of each person and each one can influence the existence of more social justice, supporting inclusion projects in our environment, promoting inclusion in our company, signing petitions, learning the sign language of our country, giving it visibility to the needs of deaf people, etc.
At LingoCall we provide remote sign language interpreting services for Costa Rica Sign Language (LESCO), United States (ASL), Mexico (LSM), Argentina (LSA), Colombia (LSC) and other countries. We also convert your videos to inclusive versions using subtitles and the Sign Language interpretation box. Inclusivity includes both services since not all deaf people know how to read well, and not all deaf people know or practice the Sign Language of their culture, therefore, the combination of both services increases the probability that the message will be assimilated by the deaf culture community.