Request an Interpreter
DRC provides sign language interpreting services to DOT employees and job applicants nationwide. Interpreters are provided on a scheduled basis and are assigned to specific employees for specific events. Due to high demand, short-notice and same-day services can only be provided if the in-house resources are available at that time.
How to Request Interpreting Services from the DRC
Sign Language Interpreting services can be requested via email using the interpreting request form. Send the form in an email to email@example.com for Region I (Baltimore-Washington DC Metropolitan Area ) and firstname.lastname@example.org for Region II. (Locations Outside of the Baltimore-Washington DC Metropolitan Area).
Information needed for all interpreting requests includes:
- Operating Administration requesting interpreting service
- Deaf Consumer's name
- Description of the event
- Date, start time, and end time of the event
- Requestor’s Name and Phone Number
- Location of event (address, building and room number)
- At least two onsite points of contact
Hours of Operation
The DRC Interpreting Office processes interpreting requests Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Requests submitted after 4:30 p.m. will be received the following business day.
For major events, it is a good idea to include DRC in the event planning meetings to ensure that interpreting needs are considered at the earliest stages of planning.
As stated in the DOT Memorandum, “Accessible Workplace Programs and Activities for Individuals with Disabilities,” planners should ask all participants in advance if accommodations are needed. This can be incorporated into a registration process. An accessibility statement is required on all event invitations, notices, posters, and emails, providing adequate time for people to identify their accommodation needs and for DRC to obtain interpreters. An example of an accessibility statement is as follows:
“The US Department of Transportation (or name of Operating Administration or office) is committed to providing equal access to this meeting (or event) for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, please contact (name of person) at (telephone number) or via e-mail (e-mail address) with your request by close of business (deadline.)”
Event coordinators are responsible for submitting interpreting requests to the DRC. Even if an event is widely publicized, do not assume interpreting services have been scheduled. The number of interpreters needed for a particular request can depend on the number of participants and break-out sessions, nature of the events such as for a conference, trainings or Departmental programs. Therefore, requests for interpreters should be made as soon as the date and time of the event have been determined, with a minimum of five business days' notice in advance of the event or meeting.
Request Acknowledgements and Status Updates
Due to a high volume of interpreting requests, please allow at least two business days for an acknowledgement. You should receive a status update (confirmed, pending, unfilled) within two business days of the acknowledgement if it is not a short-notice request. If you do not receive a status update, please contact email@example.com for Region I and firstname.lastname@example.org for Region II, with the date of your assignment and the time and date your request was submitted.
Acknowledgements and status updates will be sent in the form of a calendar event invitation from Request.Interpreters@dot.gov. The subject line will indicate whether it is an acknowledgement or confirmation. If the request is short notice, we will inform you of the status as soon as possible.
What is Sign Language Interpreting?
Sign language interpreting makes communication possible between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Sign language interpreting, like spoken language interpreting, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a signed representation of that English word. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure and cultural nuances. Interpreters must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work so that they are able to convert information from one language, known as the source language, into another, known as the target language. In addition, interpretations can incorporate cultural information associated with the languages used. (Source: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Standard Practice Paper)
DRC Interpreting Services