Monthly Archives: June 2015


June 2015

Updates on Policies and Services

By |June 14th, 2015|Instruction|

The “owners” of a listing are not allowed to review themselves. We also limit users to a single review of each provider. This is built into the software and is also in the policy statement. We are adhering to general policies adopted by the Rating and Review Professional Association.

Several contributors have asked if they can remove their listing. This is addressed in our FAQs:

We only remove directory listings for individuals and companies who stopped providing interpreter services. This is a consumer-rating site. Think about this as an opportunity to promote your services and get valuable feedback from deaf clients. Listings for ratings are created by users. Users include interpreters, consumers, and others that have registered on ASLGrades.

The owner of the listing may post a comment with their listing to support, or rebut a rating or review.

Why ratings are important

By |June 14th, 2015|Instruction|

We must first note that the response from the deaf consumer community has been uniformly positive. The deaf community has been looking for a way to express their service satisfaction in a way that is reasonable, sometimes anonymous, and intended to improve the services and recognize achievements. Many professional interpreters have noted that there are grievance processes in place. That is true in other industries as well. However, consumers want an independent means of expressing their service satisfaction. Healthcare, law, and contracting are examples with both official grievance processes and independent customer service ratings. Health providers and Lawyers manage to work with ratings and not violate confidentiality. Many providers want the feedback so that they can grow and improve. The deaf community also appreciated having a single site to search for resources of all sorts.

Changes and What’s Coming

By |June 14th, 2015|Instruction|

  • Mobile friendly – The videos now display better on iPhones and Androids
  • Friendly search – We changed the directory search page to make it easier to use. More changes are planned.
  • Uncertified providers – We welcome all ASL interpreters and students to join the web site, there is a selection for Not Certified
  • Quick link for search and rating added to home page

Creating a Directory Listing

By |June 12th, 2015|Instruction|

ASLGrades is about sharing information. Interpreters can make the best of their directory listing by adding a description of services, images, web sites, and other great information. The idea is to tell you clients about yourself and your skills.

If you do not have a directory listing:

  • Login by clicking “login” on the menu. If you do not have an account click the “Register” button on the login page
  • Go to the directory page and click “Submit a Listing” button
  • Select a listing category and click “Continue”
  • Fill in the form for your listing information – communicate with your clients by adding useful descriptions, a website, or other information that your clients might like.
  • Select your region (USA) and state and enter the city
  • All required information has an * by it
  • Read and agree to terms and conditions click “Continue”
  • Add up to 2 images and click “Continue”
  • Your listing is now ready

If you want to Edit your listing.

  • Find your listing and click “Edit”
  • Follow the steps above.

If you have a listing but cannot edit it, you will need to click on “Claim Listing”

  • Click on “Claim Listing”
  • Provide your information.
  • Please provide enough identifying information to match you and your listing. A scanned business card is excellent.
  • Submit your “claim listing” request.
  • The Web Administrator will review your request and approve it or ask for more information
  • Once approved, edit your listing as described.

Where Do Directory Listings Come From?

By |June 12th, 2015|Instruction|

ASL Interpreter Grades uses the same approach as other professional rating web sites.

A directory listing can start in two ways.

  1. A user adds a listing. A registered user enters the name, state, and description, and signing certificates or licenses. The listing request is reviewed by web manager and will be live on the directory. The web manager may ask for additional information to show identity. In a state that has a professional license, we verify against the state’s published license listings.
  2. Information is automatically gathered from a variety of public online sources. These include public records, state services sites, public directories, and web searches (Google, Bing and other search utilities). We do not keep track of how any specific listing was created. Examples of sources may be found in our Deaf and HH Agency directory listings. States that have professional licensing for deaf interpreters provide our most up-to-date public record sources. However, online sources are often incomplete. A User, may click on the “Claim this listing” link. The user’s identity and association with an existing listing is verified by the web manager. A scanned business card is very useful for identification. The card will not be published. If the claim is approved, the user can edit their online directory listing.

ASLGrades tries to follow the best practices pioneered by rating sites like,,, etc.

You may get additional information on consumer ratings at Rating and Reviews Professionals Association

Reviews – Some Tips From an Interpreter

By |June 12th, 2015|Instruction|

I welcome input from any/all of the clients I have served over the years and currently. I support the idea of input from Deaf people about interpreters. As people leave comments, I hope that they’ll consider describing what was good or bad about our services as part of evaluating us overall. Some examples offered for your consideration below.

Ex: The interpreter was good. Why? He made the conversation between my team flow as if there were no language barriers. We all worked together and had a productive meeting.

Ex: The interpreter was awful. Why? She kept interrupting me when I signed, confused about what I was saying. I don’t think she understands ASL.

Ex: The interpreter was amazing!! Why? She signed like a native ASL user.



Thank You to All Deaf Consumers and Interpreters

By |June 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|

As you can imagine, the website has gone viral.

  • In less than one week, we have had 3,200 visitors from 20 countries.
  • Over 300 new registrations have happened on the website and over 600 on the facebook.
  • Over 150 new ratings and reviews. Average rating is 4.8. There are a lot of great interpreters out there!

So many interpreters have adopted the site and have been adding their own pictures, stories and other great stuff. The response has been overwhelming, it is hard to keep up with all the great participation. Many interpreters and interpreter agencies added their own directory listing! Typical comment is “the deaf community has been wanting something like this for a long time. Keep up the good work!”

What we changed and added this week:

  • Added login/logout button
  • Fixed several problems with adding comments
  • Updated FAQs from new user questions
  • Automatic login from facebook

Plans for the coming days:

  • Add better instructions on editing your directory listing
  • Make it easier to blog and comment
  • Add more facebook and website links


I started to learn signing 35 years ago.

By |June 11th, 2015|Deaf Services|

I started to learn signing 35 years ago. Seems like a lot of things have changed, especially what is listen within the lexicon of signs in ASL. Also the big use of classifiers. The following signs were considered a no-no n ASL but it seems they are part of the lexicon now: ALLOW, LET, FRUIT, VEGETABLE, TEAM, GROUP, CLASS(signed with a very clear C rather than the open C), AUTHORITY, many other contrived initialized signs. When being evaluated, are they considered ‘bad’ signs as used in school settings that the Deaf didn’t like? A few years into, the idea of SASS came up but now I guess they are part of classifiers. Don’t get me wrong, I really like classifiers but are they part of the language? Seems like a lot of changed or am I getting the wrong information? You know the book “A Basic Course in American Sign Language”, I had a trainer in one of the first Interpreter Training Programs that disliked the book great and said “The book might call itself ASL, but it really isn’t!” I had started his program but after that comment, I lost interest in his program and dropped out. Another trainer I had claimed to know all signs. She really liked Sternberg’s book. I had signed the concept of “Step-father”, and very quickly she told me I was completely wrong. I had signed FATHER but with the L-handshape. That was a sign also shown in his book. She didn’t know what tot say then, but at first I was very attacked. Who’s to say what was right. I was at a Deaf party once and it was getting late, and I had closed my eyes. Somebody nudged me at asked me what my problem was, and I answered “I got up early.” Gulp, which sign should I use for EARLY?!?!?! I opted for the fingerspelled loan sign as I thought that would be the “safest”, and the gentleman says “Oh no no this is the sign. It is signed ROOSTER.” Another gentleman was watching and he jumped in and said “You both are wrong, the correct sign is EARLY (the middle finger going across the top of wrist on the left hand).” Who as right?!? Another time, I was interpreting at a saw mill retraining, I would do my homework the night before. Here was a word I didn’t want to fingerspell all the time: DEBARKER. So I asked the three Deaf consumers separately, what is the sign. I got fingerspelled and two very different signs. So I decided when interpreting for all 3, I would just fingerspell it. That happened a lot. So when I got my evaluation, the two that was always showing me signs, rather cut me down for not remembering how to make the signs that had give me. Must to my amazement, the person that told me spell most of them, gave me a high rating but I thought he would be the hardest on me. When I took my NAD test the second time, I made sure I used base signs, no contrived initialized signs, and sign for the right meaning. I felt rather good about it. But when I got my results back, it indicated I had a rather low sign vocabulary and didn’t always pick the “right” sign. Of course, no specifics were given. Again, it reminds me of the time I was interpreting in court for a couple. For some reason the judge called an 2 hour recess. During that time, the Deaf couple talked to me and told me they were bothered by one sign I was using, it was when the word “CHARGED” was used. They read my lips so they know that is what was being said. Be they wanted to know why I was signing “BLAME” as they felt the sign should be “FINED” (PRICE). So I gave them my explanation, the court was ‘blaming’ (CHARGING) them for doing such and such crime, but if the judged found them guilty, then they would have to pay a ‘fine’(CHARGE). They thought about it and then asked “You mean if we are not guilty, we don’t pay a fine(CHARGE)?” “Correct” “So right now we are being charged for a crime. Oh I understand now. Your sign is correct.” I could take up volumes of examples but you get the picture. The worse time was recently in court, I was watching the interpreter the Deaf defendant asked for. Judge had his doubts but hired me to see if she was getting the right message across. But no need as the plaintiff changed their mind. So the judge said “The court case has been dropped.” Dutiful interpreter signs COURT BOX HAS(OWN) BE(initialized REAL sign) DROP-TO-THE-FLOOR The defended first looked puzzled then suddenly she thought she understood and jumped and started looking for the box on the floor. The interpreter and her advocate had to literally drag her out of the court as she wanted to find the box that was on the floor. Clearly what not the right concept but some things are not that clear cut. One that bothers me the most is LAST when it’s signed with a time indicator. LAST is often signed FINAL rather than PAST or do a number incorporation. I’ve got to stop; I’m rambling on. I hope I’ve made my point. But I still wonder who is really the judge if its’ the right sign? I know Deaf will sign something incorrect, but shame on me for saying that as I am a hearie.

William L. Long

Great Start!!

By |June 7th, 2015|Instruction|

Great start!! Empower Deaf people to evaluate and rate their skills, however we have to find ways to evaluate & rate their English (voice) skills. Too often or every time they voice and it doesn’t match Deaf’s intentional messages. This is linguistic oppression (unintentional). This discourse has been ongoing among my colleagues. We are working to create training for ITP students and public workshops/series to bring awareness of their attitude towards Deaf language whether be their (Deaf) professional or others. The languages’ messages were NEVER equal. Anyways-off the tangent point I dislike call them ASL interpreters, Why? They (probably 95% or so) NEVER sign in ASL. I rarely see them using depictions. I like to call them hearing interpreters and leave ASL interpreters to CDI, DI. “getting off the soap box”… Thank you.

Laura S