Providing ASL Interpreting Services for Funerals and Similar Services
Funerals are stressful times for families. During these stressful times, guidance from experienced professionals can make things go much more smoothly.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all places of public accommodation provide equal access to communications. Many of these places (including funeral homes) are specifically listed in Section III-1.2000 Public accommodations, in the ADA.
This guide is to help the funeral service providers in obtaining ASL interpreters for members of the family who will be attending the service(s).
It is recommended that your first interview with the family include the question, “Will there be anyone present who depends on an ASL interpreter?”
This is so that services can be requested as early as possible. With more advance notice, it is much easier to find an interpreter who is available and qualified for this assignment.
An interpreter should be provided for all of the parts of the service – in the Funeral home, and the gravesite service, if there is one. Some families may keep the gravesite service more private, so if the person needing an interpreter is not in the immediate family, then the interpreter may not be needed for the gravesite service.
Note that the services will be billed to the funeral home. By law, the cost cannot be passed on to the family.
Your first step is to contact Partners Interpreting:
- by phone – 508-699-1477
- by email – firstname.lastname@example.org (this is slower, we recommend the phone unless it is after hours, in which case send us email and we will call you the following morning)
We would send you our Terms & Conditions; this is an electronic document that outlines what services we provide, and the rates for these services. This document must be signed before we begin searching for an interpreter. We suggest that you be sitting at your computer when you call, so you can sign it immediately while on the phone; you will then be transferred to our scheduling team.
The scheduling team would then need to know:
- Time, date, location of the service(s)
- Name of the Funeral home or service provider
- The name of the deaf client, if possible; as we are the premier provider of interpreting services all over New England, there is an excellent chance that if the deaf person is local, we have worked with them in the past. As a result, we would have a list of their preferred interpreters, and that would help us find the most appropriate match.
You will get an email confirming the request. When the request is filled, you will get another email with the name of the interpreter. The interpreter will get all of the details about the assignment. When the job is completed, an invoice will be sent.
Our goal is to serve you as you serve the families, by providing communication access to those who need ASL interpreters.
- Partners Interpreting general information page on ASL Interpreting
- ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual: https://www.ada.gov/taman3.html
- Questions and answers: https://www.ada.gov/hiv/ada_q&a_hiv.htm