Could an agency use a family or friend to interpret?

Generally, no. Family members often do not possess sufficient sign language skills to effectively interpret in a medical setting. Even if they are skilled enough in sign language to communicate, family members and friends are very often too emotionally or personally involved to interpret “effectively, accurately, and impartially.” Finally, using family members and friends as interpreters can cause problems in maintaining patient confidentiality. Problems with using a friend or family member could be one or more of the following: objectivity, skill level, confidentiality, liability.