Interpreters professional and ethically strive to effectively facilitate communication between two parties, one who uses a signed language to communicate and another who uses a spoken language to communicate. As in any other profession, there are complexities that exist. Qualified interpreters have the education and experience to work within these complexities and service providers are able to play a supportive role in providing guidance, education, and knowledge to those who will be experiencing working with a sign language interpreter.
Interpreters are highly fluent in two or more languages. They have the specified, necessary education to be able to focus on what is being spoken or signed while interpreting in simultaneous or consecutive modalities. Interpreters have a very broad based of general knowledge and adhere to a professional, ethical code of conduct.
The interpreter is present for all individuals involved in the communication: the deaf individuals and the hearing individuals. It is easy to think the interpreter is needed for the deaf party when realistically, the hearing party is in equal need of interpreting services.