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Interpreter/CART - Private


Under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§12182, 12183, (ADA) provides people with disabilities the right to equal access to public accommodations. For more information about the federal law please visit our "Your Rights and the Law" page.

Kentucky has a licensure law, requiring all interpreters to have a license to interpret. In order to be licensed, interpreters must be certified as well. You can either call a licensed and certified interpreter individually to check availability, or you can use the attached interpreter referral services list and have one of the listed agencies find an interpreter for you.



Referral Agency:

Hiring an interpreter directly can save you money but it does take time. It is often easiest to contact a referral agency, which will match your needs with interpreters who are available where and when you want them. The referral agency can make all the necessary arrangements for you. Please refer to our Interpreter Referral Services (Accessible PDF) document and contact the referral agency closest to you.



Hiring an interpreter directly:

If you wish to contact an interpreter directly, please use the Kentucky Board of Interpreters online directory.




There is no set rate for interpreting services. The agency would need to contact the individual interpreter directly for their fees. Rates are individually set by considering the following:

  • Certification level
  • Nature of assignment
  • Level of interpreter's education
  • Experience

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf has outlined a standard for billing related information.



Questions you may have:

1. If the consumer doesn’t show up, do I still have to pay for the services requested?

It is likely you will still need to pay the interpreter or captioner for their time. If the assignment ends earlier than scheduled or is canceled upon arrival, charges incurred will be for the time originally requested. This also applies if the consumer does not show up for the appointment. The language access professionals have blocked their time for this work and possibly turned down other opportunities. Short notice on cancellations does not allow them to find other work. It is therefore recommended that appointments be cancelled as soon as your office becomes aware to avoid necessary charges.

2. Why does an agency require a two-hour minimum?

A two-hour minimum is an industry standard and set forth by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf as a practice for independent contractors. If your appointment is only an hour, consider that an agency and/or the freelance interpreter probably spends at least an hour or two filling out the paperwork your company may require of vendors, sending and receiving signed contracts, sending out messages to all their interpreters to see who is available, fielding phone calls and emails from interpreters who are available, and taking into consideration the wants and needs of the deaf client. Consider the time it takes the interpreter to receive requests from agencies asking if they’re available for jobs, checking their calendars, responding to the agency and retrieving job-related info. Then there’s the time spent billing the agency, receiving payments, depositing, accounting, tax preparation, etc.

3. When would I need to use a CDI (certified deaf interpreter)?

A CDI (certified deaf interpreter) is an interpreter who is deaf or hard of hearing, certified and holds a Kentucky interpreter license issued by the Kentucky Board of Interpreters. There are circumstances when a hearing interpreter is unable to access the message of the deaf or hard of hearing consumer. The reasons could be due to the consumer having limited communication skills, signs a foreign language and/or has not been taught a formal communication such as a signing system. They may only communicate gestural or with "home signs." A CDI can clarify cultural confusion and linguistic misunderstandings. A hearing interpreter and a deaf interpreter work as a team to ensure clear and accurate information is being communicated.

4. How many sign language interpreters do I need?

The number of interpreters will depend on, among other things:

  • The number of deaf attendees
  • The communication preference
  • Needs of the participant
  • The conference program or agenda

5. Can a family member serve as an interpreter?

In most cases, friends or family members do not have the sign language skills or vocabulary necessary to provide effective communication in professional situations. They may also be too close to the individual to give an objective and accurate interpretation. A family member or friend may withhold information they believe is not important or to keep from upsetting the deaf individual, not relay the full content of the conversation. An example would be a doctor not rendering treatment to a family member.

Professional interpreters are highly skilled and nationally/state-certified in sign language. They are trained in the interpreting process with focus on non-manual and specialized vocabulary. They are required to maintain their certification with mandatory and continuous training education. Certified interpreters are bound by a "Code of Ethics" for confidentiality, impartiality and professionalism to ensure a true and accurate interpretation.