Sign Language Interpreters
ODHH administers the statewide contracts to purchase sign language interpreter services. Washington State agencies are obligated to provide sign language interpreters upon request to deaf or hard of hearing individuals who are seeking accessible government services. ODHH monitors contractual compliance including quality of services, certification of interpreters, and adherence to best practices.
- Hiring a Sign Language Interpreter
- Sign Language Interpreters and their credentials
- Interpreter Rates
- Interpreter Service Hours
- Court Interpreting
Using the Service
The statewide contracts are available for all DSHS Requesters, as well as other departments, government agencies and Washington State Purchasing Cooperative members (a list of whom can be found on the Department of Enterprise Services website).
Requests - Authorized requesters are encouraged to make requests for sign language interpreters 1-2 weeks in advance or whenever the appointment was first scheduled due to the demand for interpreters. Download this form to make a request for a sign language interpreter. It can be sent electronically or faxed to the contractors. Contractors are obligated to confirm whether an interpreter can be assigned to an appointment within 48 hours.
Scheduling Appropriate Interpreters - Requesters and contractors must make every reasonable effort to appropriately match the interpreter's certification, experience, and preferences with the client's communication needs, appointment setting, and other factors. The requester and contractor must not use family members and interpreters not approved by ODHH. Requesters should consider the following factors when scheduling interpreter(s):
- Number of deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind customers;
- Customer's expressed communication needs and interpreter preferences;
- Length of the appointment;
- Type/setting of the appointment;
- Certification level of interpreters; and
- Any other factors
Contact Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for more information about certifications, standard practices, and communication modes.