Logistics for Educational Settings

Critical Information
This method of communication works best in high school and post-secondary institutions only

Audio: It is vital that the remote interpreter have the ability to hear clearly all voiced comments that the student is intended to hear. The interpreter cannot perform to the best of his/her abilities if they cannot hear clearly. It is vital that the remote interpreter clearly hear all voiced comments that are meant to be interpreted. Without the ability to hear clearly, the interpreter cannot perform to the best of his/her abilities. This is especially important in remote interpretation situations where extraneous noise and echoes are exacerbated by the relatively poor quality microphones present in most laptops, tablets to include the Apple iPad. These microphones are designed for face-to-face conversation and are not suitable for use as a remote pickup device for interpretation. They exacerbate the echo in a room and do not perform well when used in this situation.

In order to achieve the best quality performance by the interpreter it is necessary that an isolated audio feed from all vocal sources be provided. It should be a clearly audible vocal-only feed. Any distortion in the audio signal has the potential to cause the video interpreter to not hear a clear/intelligible message. As a result, the message interpreted to the student is inaccurate or there is not interpretation at all due to an unintelligible message.

Video: It is vital that the remote interpreter have the ability to see the deaf person.  The interpreter cannot perform to the best of his/her abilities if they cannot see the deaf client clearly. The deaf person must also be able to see the remote interpreter clearly.  It is important to ensure that you do not ask a deaf person to view an interpreter on a device with a small screen.  Remember, a deaf person is accustomed to the interpreter physically in the room where communication happens in a 3-dimensional format.  When remote interpreting is used the interpreter is 2-dimensional and a vital aspect of the visual language is lost.

For this reason a wide angle view of the front of the classroom is necessary. A portion of interpretation is dependent on the interpreter seeing what is going on.  They cannot operate in a vacuum. If examples are provided on a screen or white board they should be clearly visible to the interpreter.

Lighting: It is vital that the remote interpreter have the ability to see the deaf person and the deaf person see the remote interpreter.  A visual language mandates that the room must be lighted for communication to take place in both directions.

Internet Connection:  It is vital that the remote interpreters video feed coming in to your location does not freeze.  Due to the latency present in most Wi-Fi internet connections, a hard wired Ethernet connection is mandatory. A hard wired connection helps minimize the delay between the spoken word and the signed message.

Communication Platform:  It is vital that all information that the remote interpreter handles is done through a secure connection on a stable communication platform that is also HIPAA compliant. The VCI platform is accessed through our website or via the email confirmation sent to the site after an interpreter is requested.

Basic Equipment Requirement:

  • Laptop Computer/Tablet
  • Google Chrome or Firefox internet browser ONLY
  • Clear, audible transmission of voices (USB microphone may be necessary in the classroom)
  • External Webcam
    • Clear video/picture quality
    • Interpreter can see client, instructor, and white board
      • Positive: If student speaks for his/herself, the external camera will remain in a forward facing position for the duration of the class
      • Negative: Student must flip camera to face themselves if they have a question or comment that needs interpretation
      • Negative: Interpreter is unable to use the students’ facial expression and body language to determine comprehension of interpretation
  • Internet Connection
    • Hardwired internet connection
      • Positive: No latency/delay in the video upload or download
      • Positive: No dropped connections
      • Negative: Portability is reduced once laptop is plugged in at start of class

Disclaimer:  Deaf people are more frequently asked to accept a remote video interpretation instead of the traditional on-site interpretation that they are accustomed to. There may be times when this alternative simply isn’t effective.  The deaf person may struggle with the ability or inability to watch a video interpreter, may have difficulty understanding a two-dimensional interpretation under heavy medication, under the influence, with poor eye sight (cataracts/glaucoma) or in situations of stroke, cardiac arrest, mental health crisis situations, and for children of elementary school age.

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