New Program to Offer Remote Access for ASL and Foreign Language Interpreting

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The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA) has launched a new video remote interpreting (VRI) service - the first of its kind in Baltimore.

Interpreting, ASL, Deaf, CIRS, HASA, hearing, speech

An iPad app will ensure a secure login process for all participants.

HASA's mission as an organization that facilitates communication can reach many more people in need of interpreting services.

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In a hospital emergency room, deaf and hard of hearing patients typically have to wait for up to an hour for a professional sign language interpreter to arrive on-site. Thanks to a new VRI (video remote interpreting) program from The Hearing and Speech Agency | CIRS Interpreting, hospitals can connect with a remote interpreter quickly to conduct registration, intake, and triage with the patient or caregiver without significant delay. Once the live interpreter arrives, the VRI interpreter signs off and becomes available to dozens of other hospitals for the next emergency.

This kind of technology is also useful in workplace and educational settings, where organizations are increasingly converting to VRI services for brief interactions and regular meetings that would otherwise be difficult and costly to schedule. Businesses and schools located in areas not adequately serviced by existing community interpreters can also benefit from increased access to professional interpreters.

Now, instant access to an interpreter can be available to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or non-English speakers. HASA is installing two iPads in its own building for clients and students so that staff can immediately communicate with anyone who walks in the door for therapeutic or educational services.

Interpreting will be available for Spanish and up to 175 other languages all through one device.
States VRI Director Steve Frank, "The really exciting part about VRI is that we now have the capability to expand our interpreting services to include foreign languages, as well. Our mission as an organization that facilitates communication can reach many more people in need of interpreting services."

ABOUT CIRS INTERPRETING: Founded in 1986, CIRS Interpreting provides interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing individuals whenever there is a need for clear, accurate communication. CIRS Interpreting also works throughout Baltimore to provide deaf awareness workshops, sign language classes, an interpreter mentoring program, interpreter training and ASL immersion activities.

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Tammy Black, Director of Communications
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