Interpreting After Dark

Meet Chanel, a longtime supporter of DAC and our after-hours (5pm-8am) interpreting scheduler for over a decade. We’re taking a moment to acknowledge the work she’s done and the experiences she’s gathered over the years.

A lot of requests that come in after 5pm are considered emergency interpreting services and often include high stakes assignments. What were the most common requests for services after 5pm?

Requests from hospitals for labor and delivery are some of the most common evening and overnight assignments. These requests are sometimes for 12-24 hour shifts, several days in a row, and I try to fill as many hours as I can for our clients. There are a lot of emergency mental health assessments that come in after 5pm, as well as late night ER visits and the occasional call to local jails and police precincts. At night, people are often in vulnerable situations and need communication access.

These assignments take place during traditionally inaccessible hours of the day. What type of responses do you get from interpreters for those 1am or 3am calls?

There are quite a few interpreters who are amazing and are always willing to jump out of bed and serve the Deaf community. Sometimes I’ll text an interpreter and wait 10 minutes before calling them to ask if they’re available. Most times when this happens, they answer and accept the assignment. Our interpreters don’t want to think of any deaf person going through an emergency without communication access.

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