What is Video Remote Interpreting?

Video remote interpreting (VRI) connects Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with an on-demand sign language interpreter remotely using video conferencing technology on devices like laptops and smartphones.
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    Video Remote Interpreting: Bringing Sign Language Interpreting to the Digital Age

    Video remote interpreting (VRI) is an innovative technology that is transforming accessibility for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. VRI allows people to access sign language interpreters remotely using video conferencing technology. This blog post will provide an in-depth look at what VRI is, how it works, its benefits, and the future of this groundbreaking service.

    What is Video Remote Interpreting?

    VRI utilizes video conferencing platforms to connect Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with qualified sign language interpreters in real time. The interpreter is located offsite, while the Deaf users are at their location. High-speed internet and devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones with cameras are used to establish a video link. This allows for instant, on-demand interpreting services, without requiring an interpreter to be physically present.

    VRI platforms use technology like HD video and audio to ensure smooth communication between all parties. The interpreter can see the Deaf users signing, allowing them to voice interpret everything that is signed to any hearing participants. They also sign back the spoken conversation. This facilitates effective communication for appointments, meetings, classes, and more.

    How Does Video Remote Interpreting Work?

    The VRI process is straightforward. The Deaf user contacts the VRI service provider and requests an interpreter. At the scheduled time, the user logs into the platform on their device. An available interpreter also logs in and joins the video call.

    The interpreter and Deaf individuals can see and communicate with each other in real time through the video link. The interpreter voices everything the Deaf user signs for hearing participants. They also sign back what is spoken. Parties can take turns speaking, with the interpreter facilitating an ongoing signed/spoken conversation.

    VRI sessions can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation. When the appointment is over, the call ends and the interpreter signs off.

    Benefits of Video Remote Interpreting

    VRI offers many advantages over traditional in-person interpreting:

    • Convenience: VRI eliminates the need to schedule interpreters in advance and wait for their arrival. Interpreters are available on-demand.
    • Cost efficiency: No transportation or travel costs are incurred since interpreters work remotely. This makes VRI very cost-effective.
    • Flexibility: Users can access interpreters anywhere they have an internet connection and device. This allows for interpreting in more situations.
    • Expanded access: Individuals in rural or isolated areas can now access interpreters more easily.
    • Continuity: Users can request the same interpreters and build rapport over time.

    Overall, the flexibility and expanded accessibility of VRI empowers Deaf individuals and improves communication.

    The Future of Video Remote Interpreting

    VRI is becoming more popular as high-speed internet and mobile technology improve. According to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, VRI use has risen dramatically since 2010.

    Some future directions for VRI include:

    • Integration with telehealth: VRI could be integrated more seamlessly into telemedicine platforms to improve healthcare access for Deaf patients.
    • Wearable technology: VRI apps for smart glasses or other wearables would enable even more convenient use.
    • Mobile capabilities: Expanded mobile apps could allow interpreters to work from anywhere.
    • Higher video quality: Improved bandwidth and video compression algorithms will enhance video quality and reduce lag.

    As VRI technology evolves, it will continue expanding accessibility and revolutionizing communication for the Deaf community.

    Video remote interpreting has transformed the way Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals access sign-language interpreting services. The convenience, flexibility, and ease of use offered by VRI provide more independence and improve quality of life. This innovative technology is a major milestone in accessibility that will only continue to advance in the future.

    group of people having a remote video interpretation