Hiring an Interpreter

OCRID is a non-profit organization. We provide professional development opportunities and information to the membership as a whole. We are not a sign language referral service. Therefore, we do not recommend individual interpreters or interpreting referral agencies for assignments.

[from the NAD Law and Advocacy Website]

Businesses and services providers must ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal law applies to a wide range of “places of public accommodation,” including retail stores and the wide range of service businesses such as hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctors' and lawyers' offices, optometrists, dentists, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies and private schools. It covers both profit and non-profit organizations. Places of public accommodation must give persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and to benefit from their services. They must modify their policies and practices when necessary to provide equal access to services and facilities. In order to provide equal access, all public accommodations are required to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as qualified interpreters or captioning, when necessary to ensure effective communication. Auxiliary aids and services must be provided unless the entity can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, or would constitute an undue burden (significant difficulty or expense). Whether or not a particular auxiliary aid or service constitutes an undue burden depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and cost of the auxiliary aid or service, and the overall financial and other resources of the business. The undue burden standard is applied on a case-by-case basis. Undue burden is not measured by the amount of income the business is receiving from a deaf or hard of hearing client, patient, customer, or member of the public. Instead, undue burden is measured by the overall financial impact on the whole entity. Therefore, it is possible for a business to be responsible for providing auxiliary aids and services even if it does not make a sale or receive income from a deaf or hard of hearing person, if the cost of the auxiliary aid or service would not be an undue burden on its overall operation.
For more information, see ADA Title III: Public Accommodations.

State and local government agencies and service providers must ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal law applies to all types of state and local government agencies, including courts, schools, social service agencies, legislatures, commissions and councils, recreational facilities, libraries, and state/county/city departments and agencies of all kinds. It applies to activities that are administered directly by government agencies, and to activities that are carried out by private subcontractors. Under the ADA, state and local agencies are required to give equal access and equally effective services to people with disabilities. They may not deny people an opportunity to participate in their programs, or give them an opportunity that is less effective than the opportunity given to others. Often, the public entity must provide qualified interpreters, captioning, and other auxiliary aids to ensure effective communication with deaf or hard of hearing people. The appropriate auxiliary aid depends on many factors, such as the type of communication used by the individual and the situation in which the communication occurs. An auxiliary aid that is appropriate for one person, or in one context, may be useless in another setting or for a person with a different type of hearing loss.
For more information, see ADA Title II: State and Local Government Services.

Public and private entities and service providers that are recipients of federal financial assistance have obligations to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which provides:
  • No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . 29 U.S.C. § 794(a).

These obligations under Section 504 are very similar to the obligations under the ADA described above.

[from the RID website]

As the hiring entity, you have the option to hire individuals directly or through an interpreter service agency. If you have difficulty finding a resource in your area, please contact us.

If you are seeking resources for particular guidelines on hiring interpreters for certain communication settings, please click here to access RID’s standard practice papers. These documents outline standard practices and positions on various interpreting roles and issues. They are an excellent resource to educate all interpreters, hearing and deaf clients, the general public, business contacts, school personnel, doctors and nurses, etc.

As a non-profit membership association, RID and its affiliate chapters are not allowed by federal law to give advice as to salary and/or hourly rates. Rates for interpreters are market driven, vary greatly by region, and are negotiated between the individual or agency and the hirer.

RID and its affiliate chapters also do not give advice as to accessibility issues, such as the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). You should directly contact the U.S. Department of Justice and the ADA Office or other government agencies that oversee access.

Locating and Hiring a Sign Language Interpreter in Ohio

Below is a list of interpreting referral service agencies in the state of Ohio. OCRID does not endorse any agency or the quality of services provided by these agencies. This list is simply provided as a resource for your further research as OCRID does not contract with interpreters to provide interpreting services in the state of Ohio.

If there are any agencies we have not included, we apologize for the oversight. Please contact us with the information to be added.

Northwest Ohio

Communication Exchange
Nancy Hazlett, Owner
(419) 724-0279

Professional Interpreters for the Deaf., LLC
Pattie Barfield, Owner
(419) 517-3660

Resolute Interpreting
Brian Lassiter, Owner
(419) 280-2800

Northeast Ohio

Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, Cuyahoga County
Susan Bungard, Director
(216) 231-0787

Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, Lorain County
Susan Bungard, Director
(440) 277-4602

Deaf Services of Cleveland
Lori Harris, Owner, (216) 235-7500
Pat Cangelosi-Williams, Owner, (216) 235-7600

Greenleaf Family Services
Joanna Bauer, Director
(330) 376-9494

Greater Akron Deaf Services
Greg Frink, Owner
(330) 990-1892

Sign Language Interpreters of Cleveland
Chuck Imperatore, Owner
(440) 915-9611

Triad Deaf Services
Nicole Kelly, Coordinator
(330) 454-7066

Central Ohio

Deaf Service Center
Cindi Nash, Coordinator
(614) 841-1991

Hallenross & Associates
Linda Ross, Owner
(614) 296-8937

Southwest Ohio

Community Services for the Deaf
(937) 222-9481

Interpreters of the Deaf, LLC
Arlon Nash and Deron Emmons, Owners
(937) 242-6047

Miami Valley Interpreters
Tina Gonzolez, Owner
(937) 222-8200

Northern Kentucky Services for the Deaf
Teresa Moon Flaherty, Owner
(859) 372-5255

Community Services for the Deaf of Greater Cincinnati
Beth Maltry
(513) 221-0527

Greater Cincinnati Interpreters for the Deaf
(513) 697-7344

Deaf Choice
Bob Coltrane and Maria Miller, Owners
(513) 608-1695