Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

How to Request for an Interpreter


Contact the service provider (doctor, employer, lawyer, school, etc.) to request an interpreter. Give him/her a list of about 8-10 interpreters. There is information on the next page on where to locate and find interpreters on the Public List of Interpreters.

Site Providers

Asking your client for a recommendation is the best place to find an interpreter. This individual will know which interpreters meet their communication needs. If your client does not have a preferred interpreter, you can use our public list of interpreters. Not all individuals who communicate via a signed language use the same language. Be sure to ask your client if they use American Sign Language or use a manual form of English to communicate.

Why Provide Interpreting Services?

Quality is a driving factor in any business or industry today. Providing interpreting services will increase the quality of customer service, the quality of employee production, and the overall quality of your products. In addition, many accreditation programs look at how a company serves its customers, including those with disabilities. Finally, state and federal mandates cover many public and private entities requiring that products and services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

How to Select Quality Interpreting Services

When purchasing any product or service, quality is an important factor. The State of Iowa passed a law as of July 1, 2005 to license Sign Language Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The purpose of this act is to provide for the establishment of standards for the practice of Sign Language interpreters in this state through licensure and regulation and control of persons engaged in offering interpreting services to the general public. For more information, contact Bureau of Professional Licensure at 515-281-0254. It is important to give careful consideration to the qualifications of the interpreter you are hiring. Interpreters hold a variety of credentials. These include national certification, academic degrees, specialized training, and/or quality assurance levels. If they are certified, you can ask to see an identification card showing the certification held. Be sure to ask specifically about their certification. What organization certified them? What does the certification mean? Are they certified to interpret between English and American Sign Language? Are they certified to interpret between spoken English and a manual form of English? You may also want to know what experience they have interpreting in the setting you are requesting them to provide service in.

Fee for Service

Purchasing interpreting service is like purchasing any other service. You should ask what fees are associated with providing the service. You should also ask what policies there are for canceling service, travel charges, and any other fees for providing the service.