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Editorial #96: What Should You Look for in a Video Interpreter?

We often forget the role of a video interpreter (VI) when making VRS calls, and sometimes take them for granted.

Dr. Z wants to remind each and everyone of you to remember they are the key messengers (or facilitators) for all calls we make through a relay service.

They have a difficult job because they do not know what kind of calls come up the moment a call comes in–it can be anything from a simple pizza order to sharing news of a birth of a baby to handling a 911 call–all as part of their work schedule and to do it every working day.

They need to maintain their composure in difficult situations and remain as “neutral” as possible.

They have to be able to handle spelling of names and geographic locations which they may not be familiar with.

They have to be able to handle differences in regional signs–the sign for “circus” or “birthday” differs in all parts of the country.

They have to be able to handle differing communication styles of deaf and hard of hearing people.

They sometimes have to handle difficult consumers who make calls.

And to do it every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Let’s show our appreciation for them by saying “Thank you” with a smile at the end of every call.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclaimer: Dr. Z (Philip Bravin) is currently the Vice-President of Marketing at CSDVRS, LLC.

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