COMMUNICATION SERVICES

NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NorCal) provides communication services, i.e., American Sign Language Interpreting and Real Time Captioning services, to individuals, businesses and organizations who are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other state and federal laws requiring the provision of auxiliary aids and services necessary to ensure effective communication with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf Blind persons.

Upon completion of a current service agreement, NorCal will provide services on an as-needed-basis to the customer, subject to availability of staff and subcontractors. Services are provided in wide variety of settings to include but not limited to Medical, Mental Health, Business, Legal, Performances and any situation where the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individual(s) needs effective communication.

NorCal uses Interpreters that hold certifications with RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf), NAD (National Association of the Deaf) and/or ACCI (American Consortium of Certified Interpreters). NorCal also uses qualified, pre-certified interpreters. To obtain certification, most interpreters have completed professional Interpreter training and have professional interpreting experience. Maintenance of certifications requires the Interpreter to attend workshops and seminars verified by Continuing Education Units (CEU) in the field of interpreting.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING

NorCal offers a wide range of interpreting and transliterating services to match virtually any environment, scenario or audience.

REAL-TIME CAPTIONING

Services include on-site and remote CART.

CERTIFIED DEAF INTERPRETER (CDI)

A relay/intermediary interpreter who provides cultural and linguistic expertise. CDIs are native signers professionally trained in facilitating communication during complicated and sometimes emotional situations

VIDEO REMOTE INTERPRETING (VRI)

VRI connects the sign language interpreter with customers via the Internet and a video screen. The English speaker and ASL user are in the same room while an interpreter appears onscreen to interpret the conversation.

ON-SITE INTERPRETING

On-site interpreting takes place face-to-face between English speakers and sign language users. Our experienced and highly qualified interpreters are ready to facilitate communication in a variety of settings such as doctors offices, classrooms and concerts.

REAL-TIME CAPTIONING

Services include on-site and remote CART, C-Print, TypeWell, notetaking, and post-production transcription.

FAQ

Who is responsible for requesting the Interpreter or Captioner?

Who is responsible for requesting the Interpreter or Captioner?

The individuals, businesses and organizations, who are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other state and federal laws requiring the provision of auxiliary aids and services as necessary to ensure effective communication with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf Blind persons are responsible to urgent services. Interpreting and captioning services are fee based. NorCal will only accept requests from the individual, business or organization paying for the services.

Who is responsible to pay for the Interpreter or Captioner?

Who is responsible to pay for the Interpreter or Captioner?

The individual, business or organization covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and /or the ADA are responsible to provide effective communication and the costs of providing auxiliary aids and services necessary are considered part of the cost of doing business. The Deaf or Hard of Hearing consumer is not required to pay for such services to comply with ADA. Check with the IRS for tax credits that may apply to reasonable and necessary business expenditures made in compliance with ADA standards, such as providing Interpreters or any other auxiliary aids to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing consumer.

For more information on your rights and responsibilities as related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) go to www.ada.gov.

What does NorCal accept for payment of services?

What does NorCal accept for payment of services?

NorCal accepts checks, money orders and MasterCard and VISA.

Do I pay the Interpreter or Captioner after services have been rendered?

Do I pay the Interpreter or Captioner after services have been rendered?

No, for businesses and organizations with an open account, an invoice will be sent within 30 days after the services are rendered. For Individuals, businesses and organizations paying with a credit card, the charge will be applied after the services are rendered.

How do I know I have a Qualified Interpreter?

How do I know I have a Qualified Interpreter?

People who know how to sign may be able to converse casually with Deaf people, but may not have the training and expertise to accurately interpret or understand the role of the Interpreter. Often signers do not understand the issue of confidentiality and other issues that can arise in an interpreting situation relating to cultural and linguistic differences. For certification, most Interpreters have completed a professional Interpreter training program and have extensive professional interpreting experience. Certifications are maintained by attending workshops, conferences and various training. All certified Interpreters adhere to a strict Code of Professional Conduct which stresses confidentiality, impartiality and integrity. For more information on the Code of Professional Conduct, please go to http://rid.org/ethics/code-of-professional-conduct/

How much notice is required to schedule and Interpreter or Captioner?

How much notice is required to schedule and Interpreter or Captioner?
We will accept same day requests; however, due to the high demand for interpreting and captioning services, we recommend a minimum of 5 business days’ notice or as much notice as possible. It is best, once it has been determined that services are needed to immediately submit a written request for services to Dispatch via FAX, e-mail or through NorCal’s online scheduling system. When there is no Interpreter available for the first requested time, often there is availability earlier or later in the same day, or another day in the same week. Our dispatch team will work with the requestor to determine what works best for all individuals included.

Do you provide emergency services?

Do you provide emergency services?
Yes! NorCal provides emergency interpreting services 24/7 for hospitals (ER room, Labor & Delivery), urgent care, mental health and law enforcement. These requests have top priority. Emergencies are life threatening or life changing events requiring an immediate response. Requests received with less than 24 hours business hours notice are considered an emergency.

How do I make a request for services?

How do I make a request for services?

Requests for services must be in writing and can be sent by FAX or by e-mail. FAX (209) 349-7578. Email: dispatch@norcalcenter.org

Dispatch hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday, closed on weekends and holidays. Contact us via telephone at (916) 349-7525 or (209) 474-8996.

A dispatcher will generally confirm availability within 1 business day. If you have not received confirmation within 1 business day, please follow up with a phone call.

Can I make my request online?

Can I make my request online?

Yes. NorCal has an online interpreter scheduling system. To submit a completed registration form for NorCal’s online scheduling system. The online scheduling system will allow registered users within your agency to request and track services very easily. If you already have an account with NorCal and would like to register for online scheduling, you may email your request for a registration form to dispatch@norcalcenter.org. If you do not have an account, the registration will be included in your service agreement.

The office is closed and I need an Interpreter!

The office is closed and I need an Interpreter!

NorCal has Interpreters On-Call for after-hours life-threatening emergencies only. Emergency requests for services will only be accepted from hospitals, urgent care, mental health and law enforcement. If you have a life-threatening emergency after hours call (916) 236-1184

If you are a consumer or patient needing emergency interpreting services, please provide the phone number to the Emergency Room (ER) and police to make the request for services.

How is the emergency request processed?

How is the emergency request processed?

The after-hours phone number automatically routes to our answering service. The Service will determine if the request is an emergency as per NorCal’s set protocol. Once it has been determined that the request is an emergency the service will contact the On-Call Interpreter. The Interpreter will call the requesting agency to confirm the request for services and to get additional information if needed.

What information do I need to give when requesting services?
• The Date and the Start and End time
• Agency name requesting the services
• Location Name
• Requester’s name, email address and phone number
• Address, City and zip code where the Interpreter needs to go.
• The closest cross street
• The name of the site contact person and phone number
• The name of the Deaf consumer
• Billing identification numbers (Medical record, Date of birth, Release or Purchase Order)
• Nature of assignment (medical emergency, staff meeting, counseling, etc)
• If paying by credit card, need the name on the card, the CVC number on back of card, and the card expiration date.
• The request form must be signed and dated with an authorizing signature

Why do I need two (2) Interpreters?

Why do I need two (2) Interpreters?

Interpreting demands constant mental and physical stamina, therefore some assignments particularly those that are lengthy or complex will require a team of two (2) Interpreters rotating at 20 – 30 minute intervals. NorCal reserves the right to determine if an assignment, based on its length or complexity requires two (2) Interpreters. Generally, assignments exceeding 1.5 hours will require a team of two (2) Interpreters.

Can a Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual make a request for interpreting services?

Can a Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual make a request for interpreting services?

Yes. NorCal will accept a request for services from a Deaf or Hard of Hearing consumer if they are paying for the services.

I am not paying for interpreting services can I call and schedule an interpreter?

I am not paying for interpreting services, can I call and schedule an interpreter?

No. NorCal accepts requests from individuals and agencies paying for the services.

I have a problem and I need to have an interpreter!

I have a problem and I need to have an interpreter!

If you are in a serious situation and an interpreter is needed, contact a Client Advocate at NorCal. The Advocate can help you get an interpreter.

I need to make a telephone call do I have to pay for an interpreter?

I need to make a telephone call, do I have to pay for an interpreter?

No. NorCal has Video Relay Services videophone (VP) booths at the Sacramento and Stockton offices. If you do not wish to use the Video Relay Services, you can call and make an appointment to have your call interpreted by a NorCal staff interpreter at no charge.

ADA says I have a right to have a qualified Interpreter!

ADA says I have a right to have a qualified Interpreter!

The ADA does not say you have a right to have a qualified Interpreter. It says you have the right to have effective communication. The majority of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals prefer sign language because it is their native language and the most effective way to communicate. The ADA does say if an Interpreter is provided they have to be qualified. A qualified Interpreter must be able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary. When you make a request for an Interpreter, be sure to tell them that sign language is the most effective way to communicate with you. Not every business or organization must comply with ADA standards. You can always talk to a Client Advocate at NorCal to find out if a business or organization falls under the ADA and if they are required provide effective communication for you.

I arrived to my appointment and I did not have an interpreter!

I arrived to my appointment and I did not have an interpreter!

As a Deaf or Hard of Hearing consumer, you must ask for an Interpreter when you make your appointment. Do not assume the agency knows that you need an Interpreter. If you did ask for an Interpreter and you did not have an Interpreter at your appointment, ask the agency why you did not have an Interpreter. There can be many reasons why you did not have an Interpreter. Some of the reasons are, the agency made the request for interpreting services and no Interpreters were available, or the Interpreter scheduled is out sick or stuck in traffic. The Deaf or Hard of Hearing person can always call NorCal Dispatch to confirm if an Interpreter has been scheduled for their appointment.

I am in the emergency room. Can I call for an Interpreter?

I am in the emergency room. Can I call for an Interpreter?

No. You must ask the hospital to provide you with an Interpreter to ensure effective communication. The hospital is responsible to request an Interpreter for you.

My Doctor will not provide me an Interpreter!

My Doctor will not provide me an Interpreter!

If you have asked for an Interpreter and the medical office does not provide you with an Interpreter, then contact a Client Advocate at NorCal to help you explain to the medical office what their responsibilities are for compliance with the ADA. Under the ADA you have the right to have effective communication! For some Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, writing notes is effective communication. The majority of Deaf and Hard of Hearing prefer sign language because it is their native language and the most effective way to communicate.

I was told I am responsible to get an Interpreter!

I was told I am responsible to get an Interpreter!

No. You are not responsible to get an Interpreter. You can help by telling the facility which interpreting agency or Interpreter you want and give them the contact phone number for the agency. Under the ADA it is the facility’s responsibility to make sure you have effective communication and if that requires an Interpreter, they are responsible to make the arrangements and pay for a qualified Interpreter.

I was told they will get an Interpreter, but I will have to pay for it!

I was told they will get an Interpreter, but I will have to pay for it!

You do not have to pay to get effective communication with any business or organization that falls under the requirements of the ADA. However, not all businesses and organizations fall under the ADA standards, then you may have to pay for your own Interpreter. If you are not sure, contact a Client Advocate at NorCal.

I was told to bring my daughter in to interpret for me at my Doctor’s appointment!

I was told to bring my daughter in to interpret for me at my Doctor’s appointment!

You have a right to have effective communication. If you feel your daughter does not have the skill to interpret, you can request the facility provide you with a qualified Interpreter. You have the right to privacy and to keep your medical appointment confidential, which means you have the right not to use a member of your family to interpret for you.

To Request Services

To Request Services

You have a right to have effective communication. If you feel your daughter does not have the skill to interpret, you can request the facility provide you with a qualified Interpreter. You have the right to privacy and to keep your medical appointment confidential, which means you have the right not to use a member of your family to interpret for you.