Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
Video Remote Interpreting allows Bridges to offer services for our Customers remotely from our offices by way of a HIPAA-compliant method via the internet. We will help you, the customer, determine whether VRI is appropriate and the appropriate set up and training of your equipment and staff.
What is VRI?
To communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, recipients may choose to use an on-site qualified interpreter2 or VRI services. VRI is a service that uses video-conferencing technology to access an off-site interpreter that provides a real-time sign language interpreter to communicate with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. The ADA allows the D/deaf or hard of hearing individual to select between the use of VRI services or on-site interpreters where either service would provide effective communication with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. However, the use of in-person interpreting is an industry best practice.
A recipient that chooses to provide VRI services must ensure that all of the following standards are met:
1. Real-time, full-motion video and audio over a high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection or wireless connection that delivers high-quality video images that do not produce lags, choppy, blurry, or grainy images, or irregular pauses in communication;
2. A sharply delineated image that is large enough to display the interpreter’s face, arms, hands, and fingers, as well as the face, arms, hands, and fingers of the person using sign language, regardless of his/her body position;
3. A clear, audible transmission of voices; and
4. Adequate staff training to ensure quick set-up and proper operation.
When are VRI services useful?
Under some circumstances, and if used appropriately, VRI services are beneficial:
• In situations when a recipient needs immediate, effective access to interpreting services, such as in an emergency or unplanned incident;
• In areas where on-site interpreters may be difficult to obtain, such as a rural area; and
• While awaiting the arrival of an in-person interpreter.
When should VRI services not be used?
While there are instances in which utilizing VRI would provide effective communication, there are situations where it may be inappropriate to use VRI services. For example:
• If the recipient does not have the technology in place to support providing effective VRI services, in accordance with legal requirements.
• If the person with a disability cannot see the screen, either because of vision loss or because he/she cannot be properly positioned to see the screen due to injury or another condition; etc.