frequently asked questions
Q: What is the NC Interpreter/Transliterator Law regarding to hiring interpreters for medical and legal?
A: The North Carolina "Interpreter and Transliterator Licensure Act" states:
§ 90D-4. License required; exemptions
(a) Except as provided in Chapter 8B of the General Statutes, no person shall practice or offer to practice as an interpreter or transliterator for a fee or other consideration, represent himself or herself as a licensed interpreter or transliterator, or use the title "Licensed Interpreter for the Deaf", "Licensed Transliterator for the Deaf", or any other title or abbreviation to indicate that the person is a licensed interpreter or transliterator unless that person is currently licensed under this Chapter.
(b) The provisions of this Chapter do not apply to:
(1) Persons providing interpreting or transliterating services in religious proceedings.
(2) Persons providing interpreting or transliterating services in mentoring or training programs approved by the Board.
(3) An intern under the supervision of a person licensed under this Chapter to provide interpreting or transliterating services.
(4) Persons providing interpreting or transliterating services in an emergency situation until a licensed interpreter or transliterator can be obtained. An emergency situation is one where the deaf or hard-of-hearing person is in substantial danger of death or irreparable harm if interpreting or transliterating services are not provided immediately.
(5) Educational interpreters or transliterators.
(6) Nonresident persons who are nationally certified providing interpreting or transliterating services in this State no more than 20 days per year in accordance with rules adopted by the Board. (2002-182, s. 1; 2003-56, s. 3; 2005-299, s. 1.)
For more information please visit: http://www.ncitlb.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Chapter_90D.pdf
Q: How much of an advance do you need in order to arrange an interpreter?
A: Clarity Language Access does not have a requirement as to when requests will be accepted. The sooner a request is received, the more likely your request will be filled with a qualified interpreter. We understand there are times when advanced notice cannot be given but we do our best to fulfill those last minute requests.
Q: Why is there a two-hour minimum requirement?
A: Clarity Language Access subcontracts with independent contractors for all interpreting assignments. A two-hour minimum is an industry standard when working with our Independent Contractors. Interpreters can and will work several places in one day and much of their time is spent driving from one location to another, therefore this helps to compensate for their travel to and from assignments.
Q: I requested one interpreter for our event. Why are you sending two?
A: When the sign interpreting profession was in its youth, interpreters often interpreted alone for long periods of time. These working conditions caused interpreters to develop various forms of repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Suddenly, many interpreters were unable to work due to injury. This forced the interpreting field to re-examine working conditions. The industry standard became team interpreting for anything longer than 1 to 1.5 hours of continuous interpreting. Team interpreting allows the interpreter to take physical breaks although they are still working by supporting their team in providing accurate interpretation.
Q: If two interpreters are needed for an hour meeting, would that be a two-hour minimum per interpreter?
A: Yes, two hours is the minimum charged for an interpreter. We certainly understand and respect the financial impact on the requesting agency; however, we have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the interpreters.
Q: Are there any exceptions to sending two interpreters?
A: Yes, there are a few exceptions to sending two interpreters: one-on-one meetings, job interviews, job fairs, public forums, educational lecture/lab trainings, or assignments where appropriate breaks are given. Some K-12 assignments and community training sessions are not teamed as teachers and instructors tend to lecture then give down time for students and participants to complete class or lab work. However, if there are core classes back to back, lengthy lectures, scheduled presentations, or continuous interpreting without breaks, a team of interpreters will be necessary.
Q: How do you determine the need for a team of interpreters in Elementary or Middle School setting?
A: The need for a team varies from school, class, and teacher. As noted above, repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome take place frequently in the interpreting community, especially in educational settings where interpreters are often left alone without a team. The need for a team in educational settings can be particularly difficult to predict, especially in middle school and high school. We typically send two interpreters for the first couple of days to get a sense of the work environment. Instructors tend to lecture more during the first few days of class then the amount of lecture wanes as the class continues.
The amount of interpreting has much less to do with the student and their communication mode than with the teaching styles of individual instructors. Some teachers speak quickly and consistently with a great deal of lecture, while others teach at a slower pace with more in-class activities. The slower pace method allows the interpreters’ muscles and tendons at risk to rest.
Q: Is there a charge for late cancellations?
A: Yes, cancellation of assignments without the required notice will be charged for the scheduled time. The interpreters that work through Clarity Language Access are all independent contractors and it is standard practice in the field that they bill for late cancellations and no-shows. When cancellations are received with the required notice, no charges will incur. Cancellations with notice allow the interpreters to locate other work.
Q: Do you charge mileage or travel?
A: Clarity Language Access does not charge for mileage; although, we charge for travel if the interpreters travel outside of their service area; Cleveland County. We will make every attempt to schedule local interpreters for assignments, but due to the high demand for services and short supply of qualified interpreters, we are not always able to do so for every occasion.