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Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)

What is video remote interpreting (VRI)?

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is a form of interpretation for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and at a location without immediate access to in-person, on-site interpreting services. With VRI, those who are deaf or hard of hearing can communicate with a hearing person using videoconferencing and sign language.

The interpreter generally works at a call center. Using a headset, they listen to what the hearing person says and use sign language to translate for the individual who is deaf through a video camera. The individual who is deaf can then reply using the web camera at the doctor’s office, which the interpreter then sees and translates to the hearing individual.

Through the use of video technology, it is almost like the interpreter is in the room with the doctor and patient.

Why is VRI important for healthcare?

The greatest impact of VRI is that it allows those who are deaf or hard of hearing to have access to an interpreter, even if one is not available on-site. This ensures equal access to services no matter the patient’s hearing ability.

VRI can be especially helpful for rural locations with a lack of available qualified interpreters or cases when an interpreter is needed immediately but one is unavailable on-site.