Interpreter Referral

DILA provides an Interpreter Referral Service to help business and community members secure sign language interpretation and transliteration services for their upcoming appointments and events.

Sign language interpreters bridge the communication barrier between individuals who are deaf and individuals who are hearing. In most cases, the interpreter translates spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. Their response is then translated back into English for the hearing party.

For individuals with complex communication needs, such as minimal language skills or a disability that affects visual comprehension, there are relay interpreters. In these situations, the relay interpreter acts as a cultural guide. He or she works alongside a traditional sign language interpreter to ensure accurate, efficient communication between all parties.


The provisions of interpreters is recognized as one means of assuring communication accessibility to deaf individuals. There are numerous state and federal laws, including:
  • Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975 (PL 94-142) requires certain employers and schools to provide interpreters in some situations.
  • Under the Americans with Disability's Act (ADA) and its regulations, government entities, most private employers, and places of public accommodations are required to provide qualified sign language interpreters or auxiliary aids as a means of ensuring effective communication.


As an organizational member of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), DILA draws from a network of experienced, highly skilled interpreters. Each of DILA's interpreters adhere to a strict code of professional conduct and is specially trained to handle a variety of interpreting situations. The most commonly requested settings include:
  • Physician's office or hospital visits
  • Schools or universities
  • Legal proceedings
  • Artistic performances
  • Religious ceremonies
  • Social services meetings
  • Conferences, conventions and presentations
  • Business, government and industry gatherings
  • Rehabilitation/vocational training
  • Mental health and addiction counseling
  • and others


Before an interpreter can be scheduled, DILA requires its Rate and Business Agreements be signed. Click here to download forms to complete and return to DILA by email or fax. Once we have received both signed forms then you may request to schedule an interpreter. To ensure an interpreter is available, please contact us at least two weeks prior to the date needed. Call 410-546-1745 (V/TTY), 443-365-2645 VP, orĀ 410-543-4874 (Fax) for scheduling interpreters. Once we have received your request our Interpreter Coordinator will identify, schedule and confirm one of more interpreters for your event based on the type of assignment. If an interpreter cannot be confirmed our Program Support will notify you of your options.
Contracting parties must complete these forms prior to requesting sign language interpreters for the first time. Forms are to be faxed to 410-543-4874, Attn: Erin White or Chuck Thomas.
This is the form to use when requesting a sign language interpreter two weeks in advance is preferred. Forms are to be faxed to 410-543-4874, Attn: Erin White or Chuck Thomas.

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