An Interpreter Referral Service

Communication with a deaf or hard of hearing person through writing takes, on average, five to six times longer than speaking or using a sign language interpreter. It is cumbersome, always limited in its content and often results in misunderstanding. Written communication is effective only when the communication is brief and simple.

Relying on speech or lip reading is a risky venture. It is a fact that even the most talented speech reader is able to recognize only 30% of what is said on the lips. The remaining 70% of the message is left to guesswork.

To ensure that your communication is conveyed and understood in the way you want it to be, a certified interpreter is the most effective method to use.

Often, people will ask “Why can’t I use a friend, family member or someone who knows sign language to ‘interpret’ for me?” There is a world of difference between a professional interpreter and a signer. To understand the difference, one must understand the complexities of interpreting.

In essence, interpreters translate spoken English to a visual/manual languages used by deaf and hard of hearing people, but the one used by many people is American Sign Language (ASL).

The task of interpreting is really quite complex. It requires an individual to have fluent command of both languages, as well as excellent recall and short term memory. An interpreter must translate from one language to another while simultaneously listening, storing new information and recalling what is being said.

Interpreters adhere to a strict code of ethics which promotes neutrality, confidentiality and objectivity. They demonstrate their qualifications via successful completion of a rigorous certification test.

To save you time and minimize mistakes, please have the following information ready when you need a sign language interpreter:

  • Your name
  • Date you need the interpreter
  • At what time and for how long you will need the interpreter
  • Type of location (hospital, school, etc.) and address, zip code including the cross streets
  • Any parking information
  • Exact location of where the interpreter should meet you (room number, floor, etc.)
  • The contact person (if not you) at the location
  • Phone number of the contact person
  • Billing information (e.g., name, address, purchase order number, etc.)
  • Any special instructions or information
  • If prefer male or female interpreter, please let us know

LIFESIGNS provides emergency interpreter services to health care and law enforcement communitites in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Inyo, Mono Kern, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. Interpreters specially trained as emergency intepreters, are on-call round-the-clock to respond to any emergency that may arise.

To request an interpreter please call the LIFESIGNS office nearest you. Our offices are open 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Due to the high demand for interpreting services, we urge that you request an interpreter well in advance.

Los Angeles
(323) 550-4210

(661) 327-3783

** For all other areas, please contact the LA Headquarters office.

After Hours Emergency:
(800) 633-8883 Voice & TTY
Los Angeles & Riverside