Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) Tips

Updated: April 10, 2020

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is a service that provides communication between Deaf or Hard of Hearing persons who use American Sign Language (ASL) and hearing persons that are in the same location, utilizing an interpreter by way of a computer with a webcam and Internet connection or a tablet using a cellular connection.

Below are some tips to ensure this process is as effective as possible:

  • Test equipment and Wi-Fi connection before beginning the interpreting session.
  • Request a Certified Deaf Interpreter to be the on-screen interpreter, if available.
  • Be sure to position the screen so that the Deaf person can see the interpreter and the interpreter can see the Deaf person.
  • Speak clearly and loudly enough for the interpreter to hear you; this may require some maneuvering of yourself or the screen.
  • Speak directly to the Deaf person, not to the interpreter.
  • Allow extra time for effective communication.
  • Use words to describe where you are pointing; refrain from saying “this” or “over there”.
  • Remember, the interpreter cannot see you, they can only see the Deaf person.
  • Some Deaf individuals may not understand that the person on the screen is interpreting what is happening in the room; an in-person interpreter is always more effective.