“Signing involves not just broad arm and hand movements, but also many subtle clues and features, particularly involving fingers and lip and face movements and expressions, which must be clearly seen in order to understand the meaning” (National Disability Authority).
For onsite events, it’s important to think about where the interpreters will be located.
● Make sure there are no visual distractions (for example, windows behind the presenters and interpreters, lighting).
● Sign language interpreters should be located in a spot where they are clearly visible to all deaf and hard of hearing participants and at the same time the interpreters’ position shouldn’t get in the way of any visual aids used by presenters.
● Provide seats in the first row for sign language interpreters to interpret into spoken language when needed and for the standby interpreter. Spots in the front row should also be reserved for hard of hearing or deaf participants.
It’s also essential that signers be provided with a wireless microphone to interpret any contributions from deaf or hard of hearing participants/speakers and translation receivers (in the case of multilingual events) to ensure they can continue interpreting when speakers use a language they are not fluent in.
If the interpreter will be streamed, it’s recommended they stand against a green screen (chroma key) and that the signer “appear on the screen at a sufficient size and resolution to enable viewers at normal viewing distances to clearly see and accurately recognise all movements and facial expressions” (National Disability Authority).
If you are an event organizer interested in learning more, read on here.