From Accessible to Inclusive

Do you know the difference between making your meeting/event accessible versus inclusive?

If an individual registers or indicates they plan on attending your event and they have to contact you to request interpreting or captioning services (thereby self-disclosing) and you provide those services – you are creating an “accessible” event.

HOWEVER, if individuals that rely on interpreting or captioning services can just show up at your event/meeting and interpreting and captioning services are already in place, you have created an “inclusive” event. Great job!

With the new BC Accessibility Act in place, it is incumbent upon all of us to arrange captioning and interpreting services for our events and activities.

To ensure your meetings, events and gatherings are fully inclusive, our Interpreting and Captioning Services can assist by arranging interpreters and/or captionists for all of your activities. IDHHC contracts Registered Sign Language Interpreters to provide services between English and American Sign Language and TypeWell Transcribers to provide real-time speech to text services.

You might be wondering why you would need BOTH ASL interpreting AND captioning services at your event. One service does not replace the other and to have a fully inclusive event, both services should be provided.

To clarify the difference:

Captioning provides services to:

  • individuals who communicate in English as their primary mode of communication
  • individuals that have a diagnosed hearing loss and may or may not have hearing aids
  • individuals who are experiencing hearing loss who do not have a diagnosis or wear hearing aids
  • non-native English users who may be struggling to understand spoken English
  • individuals with ADD/ADHD
  • individuals who process information better visually than auditory
  • individuals with auditory processing barriers

Sign Language Interpreting provides services to:

  • Deaf, DeafBlind, or hard of hearing individuals whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Deaf, DeafBlind, or hard of hearing individuals who rely on ASL as their main mode of communication

Plan ahead — build your budget accordingly — and reach out to us well in advance so we have time to secure interpreters and captionists for your meeting/event date. While last-minute (less than 3 business days’ notice) requests can be accommodated we ask for three weeks’ notice to ensure we can fulfill your request. You can arrange this by contacting us at We look forward to working with you!!

IDHHC has a variety of programs and services specific to support Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals and families in our community and we welcome you to check the links below or connect with us for additional service inquiries.

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