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American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters & Specializations

Interpreters have a multitude of specializations in the field of interpreting. SLII recognizes these areas and advocates for the most appropriate specializations as needed based on the individual’s criteria for communication access. Based on these specializations you may work with our interpreters who specialize in:

Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)
Deaf interpreters are members of the Deaf community who are native learners of ASL as their first language. These interpreters have acquired special training and certifications for providing language support with Deaf consumers who may not have use of standard language and require specialized interpreting services.

CDIs are often necessary when unique language differences exist among individuals in the Deaf community. There can be several reasons CDI services becomes necessary. Language deficits or differences may exist; this sometimes occurs if a person is born in one country then immigrates to another, or if their primary exposure to language is through inventive “home signs” rather than a standard and complete language. CDIs are also engaged if a Deaf individual has cognitive deficits affecting language or physical limitations in their ability to produce facial expression, fine motor movement of extremities and facial muscles, or visual impairments impacting communication. CDI services are commonly engaged for legal or medical procedures where outcomes will have a profound impact on the Deaf individual. CDIs are also commonly used for broad open access public services such as government news announcements.

CDIs work as a team with an ASL interpreter to provide clarity around linguistic or cultural differences in order to make communication accessible.

DeafBlind or Low vision

Individuals who have vision loss in addition to their hearing loss may identify as being a part of the DeafBlind community. SLII has interpreters who specialize in various types of interpreting including:

  • Low Vision Interpreting
  • Tactile Interpreting
  • ProTactile Interpreting


Deaf individuals who may have a combination of language & culture that includes English, American Sign Language as well as an additional spoken language and culture such as Spanish (or other spoken language).  These individuals benefit from TriLingual interpreters who are fluent in ASL & English plus an additional spoken language such as Spanish, French, Polish, etc in common with the Deaf individual.

Jewish ceremonies or services including synagogue or private religious celebrations often also benefit from trilingual interpreters who are fluent in ASL, English & Hebrew.


BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Pronounced “bye-pock,” this is a term specific to the United States, intended to center the experiences of Black and Indigenous groups and demonstrate solidarity between communities of color.
Statement on Culturally Appropriate Interpreters from NAD and RID.