Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
What is VRI?
VRI utilizes video conferencing technology to provide a sign language interpreter remotely via secured Internet connection. Individuals can conduct their discussion in the convenience of their place of business and using their computer, webcam, and Internet connection. A certified and qualified sign language interpreter will be viewable on the computer screen and will relay communications.
How is VRI beneficial?
VRI is an additional tool to use for equal access to communication. It especially provides resources for rural areas in which there is a limited availability of onsite interpreters. It is budget friendly for businesses with appointments less than 30 minutes, thus eliminating the two hour minimum charge. It can be used in a variety of settings: in the workplace, for businesses working with their Deaf clients, hospitals & clinics, schools, social services offices, and more!
Guidelines: When and where can VRI be used?
ASLIS’ Deaf Advisory Board (DAB) discussed in depth what situations are appropriate to use VRI. This is the key guideline to which they recommended:
VRI should be an optional service. Deaf clients have the right to decide for themselves which form of accommodation will fit their needs the best. Possible alternative accommodations include onsite interpreting, VRI, CART services, etc…
Additionally, two national organizations have announced their official position on VRI. Hospitals, companies, and organizations may want to review their standard practice papers. They are similar to each other and to the DAB perspective.