Last updated on April 21st, 2023 at 07:19 pm
April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurological and developmental disorder affecting how people interpret and interact with the world. It is a form of neurodivergence that has only recently begun to be well understood.
So what does Autism awareness month have to do with translation and interpretation services? Considerable overlap exists among people with autism who use sign language to communicate. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, here’s how skilled interpreters can make your business more accessible to everyone.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder as it’s formally called, is a complex neurological and developmental disorder. Autism wasn’t identified until early in the 20th century and has been historically poorly understood. But medical science has made leaps and bounds in the past several years in understanding precisely what autism means in the brain and its various presentations.
The CDC estimates one in 36 children and over 2% of adults (or around 5 million people) in have ASD. The rate of autism diagnosis has increased by 178% since 2000, thanks to a better understanding of the disorder and the complexity of presentation.People with autism often struggle with sensory, processing, and communication issues. Some people with autism are non-verbal and do not use spoken language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate. These challenges can be dealt with the right tools to allow autistic people to live happy, prosperous lives. One of the tools commonly used to help with communication issues is sign language.
Millions of people are living with autism in the US and around the world.
Around 40% of children with autism are non-verbal, and an estimated 30% remain minimally verbal, even after therapy and specialized programs. Sign language presents an effective communication alternative through which children may meet where they are most comfortable.
Studies have shown that sign language is a successful alternative form of communication for children and adults with autism. Sign language allows people with autism to communicate without needing verbal language since this type of language interpretation uses a topography-based system. Additionally, other studies by the National Library of Medicine have shown that using sign language can increase verbal responses from autistic children. Conversations around sign language are often used in the context of autistic children, but they grow up to be autistic adults. While many acquire verbal language skills, having a basis in sign language can be a foundation for effective communication for an entire lifetime. Therefore, interpreting agencies don’t just help kids with autism. They will help adults as well.
Learning signs or American Sign Language can benefit people with autism in several ways:
These are also benefits of providing sign language interpretation. The deaf community isn’t the only people who can benefit from sign language interpretation – providing an interpreter is a small step your company can take to becoming more inclusive. Many groups, including autistic and deaf people, use sign language to ensure effective communication.
Making your business, governmental organization or institution more accessible can be as simple as partnering with a language services company, so you have interpretation services on demand whenever you need them. Whether you need remote interpretation over the phone, video remote interpretation, or onsite interpreting services depends on the situation.
In many situations, interpretation services come in handy. Like in educational settings, a parent-teacher conference can be aided with a phone call for an ongoing over-the-phone interpretation service, allowing an interpreter to be available 24/7. Our Video Remote Interpreting (VRI Services) allows a sign language interpreter for a lecture that has hard-of-hearing students. Others cases in the healthcare industry, interpreting services are needed during a medical consult, occupation, or physical therapy visits, and other types of services may call for interpretation “ad hoc” with VRI services or a web camera.
Partnering with an interpretation company will allow you to adapt the interpretation cost to your budget, with the added benefit of compliance with privacy policies. Working with an interpretation company comes with a service guarantee and adherence to the industry’s best privacy practices.
What types of sign language interpretation services you need depends on the situation. First, let’s review interpretation services:
The type of service needed depends on whether the person needing the interpretation service will be onsite or remote. If the exchange of information is a presentation or a conversation. In classroom settings, simultaneous or consecutive interpretation can be used, while video remote interpreting (VRI) may work well for medical visits.
Video remote interpreting or VRI services are technology-based language services that connect people in different locations in real-time using a video conference platform. It can be a popular platform like Zoom or an interpretation-specific platform. A professional interpreter is connected with participants through the chosen medium, and the attendees can see and hear the information in real time.
Sign Language can be provided in Simultaneous Zoom interpretations during onsite or VRI services cases delivering simultaneous or consecutive forms. The only one that is not suitable is the phone interpreter for obvious reasons.
Industries that can benefit from sign language interpretation
Accessibility isn’t limited to a single sector, and the need for language interpretation services isn’t limited to a single group. You can significantly increase the reach and accessibility of your videos and other visual materials by providing a video interpreter.
Industries where providing sign language interpreters can increase accessibility include:
Other places to include sign language interpretation are:
Ready to add sign language interpretation services to your conference, lecture, or presentation? Working with a professional interpretation service provider makes it simple. JR Language is a language services company with years of experience helping businesses of all sizes with all kinds of interpretation services. Contact us for a quote today— we’d love to learn about your needs and help your business with sign language interpretation.