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What is a Qualified Interpreter?

The Justice Department defines a qualified interpreter as one who can "interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary."

When to choose interpreting or text captioning?

The appropriate auxiliary aid or service will depend on the type of activity and the needs of the person. An individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and uses sign language may need an interpreter to understand a Parent Teacher Association meeting or to talk to a county social worker or police officer. On the other hand, an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and does not use sign language may need Computer Assisted Real Time Transcription ("CART")/real time captioning, an assistive listening device/system or another method of making communication understandable. The individual who is deaf or hard of hearing is your best resource to find out their specific needs.

Remember that televised or videotaped programs should have the captioning option available.

Sign Language Interpreter and Text Captioning Services

To locate interpreter and captioning services, please follow the links to the California Department of Social Services website provided below. Contact the service providers directly to inquire about current rates, certification, and geographical availability.

Please note that the California Department of Rehabilitation and the State of California does not imply endorsement of the referenced agencies.

If you are finding it hard to locate an interpreter or text captioner, especially in remote areas, you may need to do more research and contact your local agencies noted below:

Directory of Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services