Frequently Asked Questions

What type of interpreter should we ask for?

It is very important to know if the consumer has any special interpreting needs (i.e. Male, female-for doctor’s appointments, or if they are low-vision, etc.). This will help us determine the best interpreter fit.

How am I charged for interpreting services?

The reason for a 2 hour minimum is for several reasons. A two-hour minimum is an industry standard. Also, the interpreter is required to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of an assignment. This also allows for interpreters to be able to make a living. The time it takes an interpreter to get from one job to the next can sometimes take between 45 minutes and an hour and a half. Having a two hour minimum will allow an interpreter to get compensated for an 8-hour day if only working 4 half hour jobs.

Is there a travel fee?

Hands in Motion does not charge travel fee’s for work in the DC metro area. Anything 25 miles outside of the District of Columbia will be charged at the current government rate per mile.

Why doesn't the Deaf Consumer pay for interpreting services?

Under the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) it is the responsibility of establishments that are open to the public to provide reasonable accommodations for equal access(i.e. Sign Language interpretation) for persons with disability.

How do I schedule an interpreter (and what information is needed)?

You can schedule an interpreter one of two ways. Online we have a Request form that you can fill out and submit online or you can print out the Request form and fax it in to us. The type of information that is needed: location, date, time, type of job, gender preference, nature of job, consumer name, the consumer’s language interpretation needs, on-site contacts, any additional job info. NOTE: It is very important to know if the consumer has any special interpreting needs (i.e. Male, female-for doctor’s appointments, or if they are low-vision, etc.). This will help us determine the best interpreter fit.

Do we need a team interpreter?

It depends. Typically any job over two (2) hours in length will require the use of two (2) interpreters. This is due to the physical and mental demand sign language interpreting requires. Sometimes assignments under two (2) hours will also require the use of two (2) interpreters. This will depend on assignment content and job specifics. NOTE: It is at the discretion of the Scheduling department to determine the number of interpreters necessary.

What are ADA regulations?

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires organizations that receive federal funding to provide sign language interpreters as needed in order to provide equal communication access. You can find more information about ADA laws at

Why should my business or organization provide interpreting services?

Interpreting services allows for communication access to all individuals associated with a business or organization (whether it be an employee or someone seeking your services). A sign language interpreter can save your company time, as well as help reduce the potential confusion and frustration of all parties involved. Sign language interpretation is an effective means of providing communication access to your company.

What are some of the circumstances in which I would need to consider hiring a sign language interpreter?

Interpreters are used daily for a vast number of reasons. Whether it is for company meetings, classes, awards ceremonies, phone calls, doctor’s appointments or social events, interpreters are utilized to provide equal access to communication to any and all Deaf or Hard of Hearing attendees.

Is sign language international? Or are there different types of sign language?

Sign language is not international. Every country has their own sign language just like they do with spoken languages. American Sign Language (ASL) is the native sign language of those living in the United States. Just like accents and dialects, regional signs and variations do occur in ASL. There are also other forms of sign language used in the United States that follow more of an English grammar, such as: Signed Exact English (SEE), Pidgin Sign Language (PSE), Manually Coded English (MCE).

What is a CDI and when would we need one?

A CDI is a Certified Deaf Interpreter. A Certified Deaf Interpreter is an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and is certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf as an interpreter. A Certified Deaf Interpreter may be needed when the communication mode of a deaf consumer is so unique that is cannot be adequately accessed by interpreters who are hearing. For more information, visit the RID Standard Practice Papers: Use of a Certified Deaf Interpreter.