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Foresight can conserve interpreting resources

October 6, 2010
Arrow Buff

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Gallaudet is fortunate to have some of the best American Sign Language interpreters in the world. Therefore, when an event or class is cancelled and an interpreter shows up anyway, it is not only a waste of valuable skills, it is  a waste of the University’s money. Last year, Gallaudet paid approximately $351,000 for interpreting services that were never used, and an additional $120,000 was spent on last-minute requests for interpreters.

Cancellations and late requests for interpreters are often unavoidable, but the University believes that prompt notification to Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) for both of these circumstances could reduce by 50 percent the figures listed above. “These steps represent additional simple but important ways the campus community can help the University conserve resources — and best utilize the invaluable services our interpreters provide,” said Vice President for Administration and Finance Paul Kelly.

GIS Director Yoshiko Chino explained that because good interpreters are in high demand — particularly in areas like Washington, D.C. that have a large population of deaf people — interpreters receive a guaranteed payment when they accept an assignment, even if an occasion arises that causes it to be cancelled at short notice. This is a common practice by interpreting agencies because it ensures that interpreters, who frequently have multiple assignments from which to choose, are adequately compensated.

Chino added that GIS strives to keep the fees it charges the campus for interpreting services as low as possible, and the rates are, in fact, considerably less than what outside interpreter agencies charge.

For information about GIS’ policies and billing, go to http://gallaudet.edu/af/gis_policiesandbilling.xml.

6 October 2010

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