As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:
- VR Standards for Providers (VR-SFP)
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services Manual (VRSM) - link coming soon; copies available to staff through the TWC intranet and to others on request
In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.
Interpreter and communications access services are offered to applicants and consumers to ensure their participation and success in DARS VR services. For DARS policy and procedures to access language services, see Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 35: Language Services.
Communication access services include
- notetaking services; and
- interpreter services that can provided either on-site or remotely, which include
- voice to sign,
- sign to voice,
- gestural to sign,
- sign to gestural,
- voice to visual,
- visual to voice,
- sight translation, and
- Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) services, which display the text of spoken words.
If available, interpreters certified by the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) or the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) must be used. For more information on certification levels and descriptions of specialized certificates, see the BEI certification page.
If no certified interpreters are available, care must be taken to ensure service quality. The Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) maintains a Web resource that is helpful for finding BEI-certified interpreters by region. RID maintains a Web resource that is helpful for finding RID interpreters nationwide.
For more information on ensuring quality of services, contact the HHSC Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services or your region's deafblind specialist.
DBS pays up to the DHHS maximum rates, which can differ by HHSC region. An encumbrance should be made in HHSAS when an applicant requires communication-access or interpreter services.
The following are useful questions to ask the consumer before selecting an interpreter:
- Does the consumer use American Sign Language (ASL) or an English-based form of sign language?
- Is sign language the most effective means of communication for this consumer? Does he or she use a more individualized communication system that should be used in combination with, or instead of a sign-language interpreter?
- How many interpreters are needed?
- What is the nature of the event including
- type (such as training, meeting, or interview),
- time, and
- estimated duration?
- Does the consumer have any names of interpreters who are qualified to work with him or her?
- Does the consumer use a particular method such as
- low vision,
- tracking, or
- a platform interpreter?
- What experience does the interpreter have with the method the consumer uses?
- Does the interpreter have experience in the particular context? (For example, does the interpreter know the medical terms or vocabulary that may be used?)
- What is the certification level of interpreter needed (if known)? For guidance, see Situations and Recommended Interpreter Certification Levels.
- What is the name and contact number for the interpreter?
- Does the agency or interpreter know who to contact at DARS if any changes occur?
Note: Currently, no interpreter certification represents skill interpreting for people who are deafblind. These interpreting skills must be specially requested from the interpreter service.
If services will be provided during training or a meeting, the interpreter can provide the best services if he or she receives in advance
- information on the topic, and
- a copy of the agenda.