At LinguaLinx, we help clients with ASL needs all the time, so we know what to look for. Here are the key questions to ask about ASL when finding the right LSP to partner with.
Top 5 Questions to Ask an LSP About Their ASL Interpretation Capabilities
1. Do Their ASL Interpreters Have Industry Experience?
Every industry has its own terminology, acronyms, and use of words and phrases that are individual to that field. Your LSP should have a roster of ASL interpreters who are also experienced in your industry.
Part of interpretation, a big part, is having the understanding of how to make sure not just words are interpreted but the nuance and meaning behind them too. Sometimes a sentence can be interpreted in several different ways, but there is a “best” way that will make it contextual to your audience.
2. What Quality Assurance Accreditation do They Have?
Having confidence in your LSP’s Quality Assurance (QA) capability is integral to your relationship with them. After all, you’re bringing them in to bridge a communication gap between yourself and the person you’re talking to. So how do you know they’re doing a good job? You don’t know ASL, or you wouldn’t need them.
Being certified by an internationally recognized body, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), means the LSP you’re talking to is open to a regular schedule of independent audits. They’re committed to following their process, and this process leads to strong results.
This sounds like an obvious one, right? Maybe, but it’s still important to cover it off. Are your requirements just English to ASL?
Or do you have clients in India, so you need to have your team in the US, which includes people hard of hearing, understand people speaking in Hindi, Bengali, or Marathi?
Make sure your LSP has the right mix for your present needs, and anywhere you might be expanding to in the near future.
4. What’s Their Availability?
This will dovetail with what your need for an ASL interpreter is going to be.
Will you always see the need a few weeks off? Or could it happen at any time? Many LSPs have Video Remote Interpretation (VRI) services available 24/7, but does this also include ASL?
Talk to the LSP about the types of needs you can predict and make sure you can always get the service you need in your time zone.
5. Do They Fit with the Way Your Business Works?
How do their working practices and business ethos fit with yours? Are you two aligned?
This isn’t a fluffy, “does it really matter?” kind of question, but a very important one. Your team is going to have to work with their team, and you need that to be as frictionless as possible.
Their interpreters are going to represent your company, so they’d better be on brand for you. That might not just mean being a good interpreter, but also being good at talking to the soft skills of business.
Partnering for the Bigger Picture
The right LSP can be a partner and bring value to your business far beyond mere interpretation and translation. They can help you localize into new markets with cultural insights so you hit the ground running, allowing your audience to quickly trust you.
If you ask the right questions – about their business, QA process, languages they cover, how available they are, and ensure that they know your industry - then you’ll be well on your way to making the right decision.
Get A Quote for Your ASL Interpretation Project
If you’ve got ASL interpretation requirements that you need help with, we’d love to sit down and talk with you about it.
With our ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 compliance, over twenty years of professional translation and interpretation experience, and a global reputation for trustworthiness, you can be confident that your ASL interpretation projects are in capable hands.
Let's work together to ensure your message is clearly and accurately conveyed in ASL.