Why Choose HSDC Interpreting Services?
HSDC Interpreting Services is a centralized resource providing quality communication access for Deaf, DeafBlind, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals in Seattle, the Puget Sound, and Washington State. Our staff can match your preferences with interpreter specializations (medical, legal, educational, etc.), certification levels, and experience to provide the perfect fit for any situation.
We aim to be responsive to the dynamic communication needs and preferences of the communities we serve. We also strive to support the continued growth of interpreting practitioners and to assert a positive influence on the advancement of the profession of sign language interpreting.
HSDC Interpreting Services was formerly known as SignOn Interpreting Services, which was founded in Seattle in 1997 and joined HSDC in 2011. In 2017, SignOn merged with ASL Interpreter Network (ASLIN), becoming HSDC Interpreting Services. HSDC is one of the largest providers of ASL interpreters in the Puget Sound region. You can view a video announcing the merger here.
If you have feedback about HSDC Interpreting Services, please contact InterpretingPD@hsdc.org.
Types of Interpreting Offered
We provide in-person and remote interpreting in a wide variety of settings for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals or groups. The interpreters we work with are qualified at the highest national level, enabling them to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people with a broad range of communication styles. All of the interpreters we contract with hold certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), a national certifying body, unless a client requests otherwise.
The following types of interpreting are available:
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Signed English (PSE) transliteration
- Signed Exact English (SEE)
- Tactile ASL, tactile, and close visual interpretation for individuals who are DeafBlind
- Oral translation for deaf or hard of hearing individuals who rely on speechreading
- Lip-Reading Translation (LRT) for individuals who are unable to express themselves vocally due to tracheotomy or other physical disability
Emergency Sign Language Interpreter Program (ESLIP)
Dealing with police, sheriffs, or courts can be stressful or even frightening for anyone. For Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals, the stress is compounded by language barriers. In emergency situations, clear communication is critical. King County and the City of Seattle recognized this when they first established the Emergency Sign Language Interpreting Program, known as ESLIP.
HSDC has coordinated this critical service since 2005, ensuring that legally trained, RID certified interpreters are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Our ESLIP interpreters respond to emergency situations at homes, police stations, jails, and courts for incidents as varied as reporting a crime, arrests and bookings, mental health professional (MHP) assessment of a citizen’s a danger to themselves or others, or filing for a protection order. This service is funded by the King County Office of Civil Rights and the Seattle Police Department.
Seattle Police and other first responders should offer interpreting services automatically when serving a deaf or hard of hearing customer. However, when contacting 911 always make sure you let them know you are Deaf, DeafBlind or hard of hearing and need interpreting services. Once contacted by a dispatcher, interpreters will generally arrive on the scene within 30 minutes if inside Seattle and within 45 minutes outside of Seattle.
For more information regarding the Emergency Sign Language Interpreting Program, contact us at InterpretingPD@hsdc.org, 206-632-7100 (voice phone), or 206-445-7434 (videophone). Please note that this contact information is not how you request an ESLIP interpreter. It is simply a resource for questions about the service. To learn how to obtain an emergency interpreter, visit the link below.
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
In addition to in-person interpreting, we offer video remote interpreting to clients in Washington State and across the nation. VRI appointments take place over a video connection on a computer, laptop, or tablet. Remote interpreting may be appropriate for certain situations such as brief meetings, emergencies, or appointments in rural areas with limited access to in-person interpreters. Our FAQ page has more information about VRI interpreting. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.