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Notice: Timmins Office

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Legal Practitioners

How to book an OIS Interpreter:

  • Call or email the OIS Scheduling Centre (contact information here)

  • Give the OIS Assignment Coordinator the following information:
    • Name and telephone number of the consumers
    • Date, time and location of appointment
    • Name and phone number of contact person for the interpreter
    • The purpose of the appointment
    • The number of people who will be present
    • Special circumstances such as video recording, media coverage, etc
  • Call or email at least 2 weeks before your appointment. OIS needs as much notice as possible to book an interpreter for you
  • For emergency requests contact the Emergency Interpreting Service*:

    o    Phone:1-866-518-0000
    o    TTY: 1-877-215-9530
    o    Email:
    o    SMS/Text: 416-712-6637**

  • For Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) requests, contact

*  Emergency Interpreting Service is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. May not be available in all communities
** Charges may apply

After meetings:

  • Have you followed policy and procedures to accept and manage complaints about access and accommodations?

  • Have you provided a ‘Client feedback form’ for them to evaluate the meeting including the communication access?

During meeting with Deaf participants:

  • Have you reviewed all written materials with the Deaf or hard of hearing individuals in order to ensure that they are able to access and understand these materials?

  • Do you monitor employee interaction to ensure that Deaf or hard of hearing individuals are not being marginalized, isolated, or treated with disrespect?

    • Keep in mind that legal settings communication is often spoken and all parties need to be sensitive and consider those with hearing loss when accessing and providing

  • Do you communicate with and to the Deaf of hard of hearing client directly and not about the client to the interpreter or CART writer?

  • Do you have a facilitator or chairperson to recognize speakers before they speak so that one person is speaking at a time?

  • If different people respond quickly back and forth, the interpreters do not have time to identify who is speaking or to fully interpret what is being said. There is a “lag” time in interpretation and with CART as the interpreter and CART writer first see or hear the discussion and then interpret/type. They also need to have time to finish interpreting or typing the previous speaker's comments before the next speaker is recognized. This means that the Deaf or hard of hearing person does not lose the opportunity to participate.

  • Are you avoiding side conversations that are not accessible?

Before events take place with Deaf people:

  • Have you determined the accommodations needed for effective communication?

    • If the client is Deaf or hard of hearing, does he or she communicate in a signed or
      spoken language, are the accommodations human resources or technology or both?

  • Have you determined whether the person uses American Sign Language or another
    signed language (e.g., la langue des signes québécoise)?

  • Have you contacted CHS Ontario Interpreting Services (OIS) and CART that can
    provide professional and impartial interpreting services and Communication Access
    Realtime Translation (CART) services?

  • Have you planned for accommodation needs ahead of time for meetings? Some
    access resources require booking in advance.

  • Do you have a policy/procedure in place to videotape/record all interviews with Deaf
    or hard of hearing individuals who use signed language interpreters or CART? Have
    you informed the interpreters and CART writers of intentions to record?

  • Have you reviewed ‘Working Effectively with an Interpreter’ from The Canadian
    Hearing Society, Ontario Interpreting Services (OIS)?

  • Have you made the connections for VRI or remote CART and made sure that you
    are connected?

For a more thorough and encompassing explanation, download our brochure: Providing Barrier-Free Legal Service.

You can also download our Language and Communication Access Checklist here.

Language and Communication Access Checklist

As a system:

  • Does your legal clinic/law firm have a policy in place regarding the Duty to Accommodate Deaf and Hard of hearing people in the contexts in which you work?

  • Does your legal clinic/law firm have established protocols and procedures for securing professional interpreting services?

  • Does your legal clinic/law firm provide employee awareness training for working with Deaf or hard of hearing individuals?

  • Are there processes in place for Deaf and hard of hearing people to file a complaint and/or appeal when communication supports and interpreting services have not been provided in accordance with the Duty to Accommodate?

  • Have you created a tracking system for logging all efforts for accommodation including grievances and follow-up efforts?

For a more encompassing checklist, download our Language and Communication Access Checklist.

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