Frequently Asked Questions
Office of Sign Language Services & Resources
The City and County of Denver has a sign language interpreter/interpreter coordinator who schedules sign language, oral, and Deaf interpreters for the Denver courts. The City's sign language interpreter can be contacted at 720.913.8487; 303.880.3208, Mobil; email@example.com.
How do I get an interpreter?
Contact the court clerk as soon as possible prior to your court date and inform him/her that you will need a sign language, oral, and/or Deaf interpreter. The court clerk will contact the sign language interpreter/interpreter coordinator and relay your request.
What are the responsibilities of an interpreter?
Sign language interpreters must faithfully and accurately interpret everything that is being said/signed in the court room, interpreting from English into sign language and from sign language into English.
Interpreters must abide by a strict Code of Professional Conduct as established by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Colorado Judicial Department Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters. Both Codes require interpreters to keep all interpreting-related information confidential, and will not allow them to give legal advice, offer an opinion, or advocate on behalf of any of the parties involved. The interpreter will use the most effective communication mode for the deaf consumer.
The interpreter will inform the Court if he/she has a conflict of interest, or is unable to effectively interpret for an individual.
Do sign language interpreters have to be court certified?
Yes. Sign language interpreters must hold national certification and meet the requirements as stated in Colorado Revised Statutes 13-90-201 through 13-90-210 and their accompanying regulations promulgated by the State Board of Human Services in the Colorado Department of Human Services Sections 27.200 through 27.300 (12 CCR 2516-1). A family member, friend, or any individual who does not hold a Legal Credential Authorization will not be qualified to interpret in court.
Does the court provide sign language interpreters for civil proceedings?
Yes. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, City and County government entities are responsible for making their courts accessible to people who are Deaf or have a disability. Therefore, sign language interpreters will be provided for Deaf people accessing the civil court system.
What if I have a hearing loss, will need assistance in court, but do not know sign language?
An Assistive Listening Device and/or open captioning, referred to as Computer Aided Real-Time Transcription (CART), can be provided upon request with at least three business days’ notice. Contact the sign language interpreter/coordinator for more information.
RID Code of Professional Conduct, www.rid.org
Model Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Judiciary, www.ncsconline.org/wc/publications/Res_CtInte_ModelGuideChapter9Pub.pdf
Colorado Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Legal Auxiliary Services,
Colorado Legal Interpreter Statute,