In today’s diverse world, communication is essential for success in many fields, including healthcare, education, legal, and business. Language barriers can be a significant challenge for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, non-English speaking, or those with limited English proficiency. Fortunately, video remote interpreting (VRI) has emerged as a powerful tool to bridge the communication gap in different settings. In this blog post, we’ll explore what VRI is, how it works, and its benefits.

  1. What is Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)?

VRI is a technology-based service that uses video conferencing software to connect people at two different locations with an interpreter in real time. An interpreter can see and hear the speaker through the video conference device, and then interpret for the Deaf or limited English proficiency person who needs assistance. VRI is a type of telecommunication service that makes it possible for Deaf individuals or limited English speakers anywhere in the world to communicate with a qualified interpreter.

  1. How does VRI work?

VRI requires three essential elements: a video conferencing device, an internet connection, and a VRI interpreter. All three must be working effectively to create a successful and efficient VRI experience. The setup is very simple; the hearing or English-speaking person speaks into the device, and the VRI interpreter interprets everything back to the Deaf or limited English proficiency person. The interpreter’s skills are used to convey the speaker’s meaning accurately through language translation.

  1. What are the benefits of VRI?

One of the most significant benefits of VRI is accessibility. With VRI, people who are Deaf or have limited English proficiency can communicate with people in different settings like schools, doctor’s offices, courts, or businesses. A well-executed service can provide users with an effective communication solution, regardless of location, time of day, or end-user’s physical abilities. VRI can also help to reduce the delay of communication, which can have severe implications in healthcare emergencies or legal situations.

  1. What are the best practices for using VRI?

To ensure a successful VRI experience, here are some tips to consider:

  • Test the equipment and internet connection before use.
  • Ensure that the interpreting service provider is using qualified interpreters who have knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Be clear and concise with your message and avoid using jargon or slang.
  • Speak and listen directly to the camera when addressing the Deaf or limited English proficiency person.
  • Allow time for the interpreting process, and avoid interrupting the interpreter or the Deaf/LEP individual.
  1. How is VRI different from On-site Interpreting?

On-site interpreting is when an interpreter is physically present in the same room as the Deaf or limited English proficiency person and hearing person. In contrast, VRI is done remotely using video conferencing software. Both options have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, On-site interpreting may be best for long-term assignments or more sensitive situations where the interpreter must have visual cues to interpret. On the other hand, VRI is quicker to set up and can be more cost-effective.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is a modern technology solution that provides effective communication access for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, limited English proficiency persons, and non-native speakers around the world. It is convenient, efficient, and reduces language barriers that hinder communication in various settings. We hope this guide has provided a useful understanding of VRI and how it works. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information or support.

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