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Office of Disability Rights

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Sign Language Services

The universal sign for interpreter in sign language

ODR provides sign language interpreter services (via a private contract vendor), for most DC agencies, for meetings, conferences, trainings, and other interactions with DC residents and consumers who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Agencies must make the request for a sign language interpreter through ODR. If the request is approved, the requesting agency will cover the cost.

Guidelines for the centralized approach to interpreting services:

  • Interpreters are available for events lasting up to one (1) day.
  • Interpreters are not available through this process for multi-day events or services (such as ongoing health care services, residential services, school classes).
  • Interpreters generally are not available on an emergency/short-notice basis
  • Interpreters are not available on holidays
  • Interpreters are only available for travel within the District
  • Interpreters are not provided for DC Government Employees or Agency contract vendors or consultants (Upon request, ODR will provide assistance to District agencies in identifying appropriate interpreting services needed by their employees)

District Agencies can arrange for interpreter services independently when the request falls outside these guidelines at their own cost. ODR can assist with arranging for the service.

Please review our Guide to Using Sign Language Interpreters  which should be shared with all staff who work with the public.

Sign Language Request Process:

Further information and Guidance:

To find out more about ODR's Sign Language Services, watch the following video:

For further information and questions, please contact ODR at (202) 724-5055 or [email protected].