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Deaf people are more likely to attend international, national, regional, and local conferences sponsored by organizations composed primarily of hearing people. Conference organizers face the challenge of enabling deaf participants to participate in all aspects of the conference.

The following information is provided to help conference organizers provide the best possible service of conference interpreting to deaf participants or presenters involved in organizing the conference. Conference needs may include translation for individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) or English sign language or simulation systems; deaf-blind people who use tactile or strict visual cues.

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Initial planning for the conference should include:

For larger conferences lasting two days or more, a translation services coordinator should be recruited as an additional member of the conference planning committee.

Leave space on all registration forms so that registrants can inform conference staff of special communication needs:

1. Interpreter services

2. Ethnic/cultural language preferences

3. Hearing aids (ALD)

4. Visual assistive devices

5. Notetaking services

The application deadline must be at least one month before the conference to have sufficient time to plan services. The conference can only guarantee services for those who have registered up to the registration deadline. It may be difficult for late registrants to get service on short notice.

Requesting translation services in advance of the conference allows for the necessary planning to ensure a high quality of service.

Coordinating Interpreters For Conferences