Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are a common part of service provision. We need you to understand and agree to these before you book with us. While they can be long, we recommend you read them so you better understand the conditions around making a booking with our interpreting service. If you would prefer to talk or skype with someone about our interpreting terms and conditions, feel free to contact us to arrange a suitable time for you.

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Introduction

This service agreement outlines information regarding service delivery to all customers of Deaf Society Interpreting Service.

Deaf Society Interpreting is a department of the Deaf Society. We are committed to facilitating effective communication between deaf, hard of hearing and hearing customers.

We provide:

  • Interpreting services between Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and English.
  • Video Remote Auslan Interpreting
  • Deafblind Interpreting
  • Emergency After Hours Interpreting
  • Deaf Interpreting (previously known as Relay Interpreting). Specialist sign language interpreting services between Auslan, English and another communication mode or language.
    • These services are provided by a Deaf Interpreter (DI), who are themselves a deaf individual usually fluent in Auslan, written English and may have additional familiarity with a foreign sign language or pidgin. DIs work in tandem with Auslan-English interpreters and can provide a communication bridge for deaf individuals who cannot access the standard Auslan produced by an Auslan interpreter.

How to book

Booking requests should be placed through the Deaf Society Interpreting online booking system. Go to https://interpreting.deafsocietynsw.org.au/.

We can also accept bookings via the phone, SMS, Skype and email. We recommend you book online as you will be able to see all your previous and future bookings. Additionally, our online system is fast and easy to use.

If you are an organisation booking on behalf of a deaf person, click 'organisation booking'.

  •  New users: click register and enter your details to create a unique user name and password.
  •  Existing users: enter your user name and password, then select log in. We can provide your username and password if you have forgotten it, or need to reset.

                         o Select “New booking” from the menu options on the left.

                         o You will be asked to agree to our terms and conditions.

If you are an individual with a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package, click ‘personal booking’ and follow the 4 steps to create a booking. Ensure you provide as much information as possible when placing a booking as that will help us in our search for an appropriate interpreter, then click ‘submit’. Once the booking has been submitted you will receive an automated email or SMS confirming your booking has been received by the office. In addition, once an interpreter has been confirmed you will receive another automated email or SMS with the interpreter’s name. If you have requested more than one interpreter you will receive a separate confirmation for each interpreter booked.

Our Customer Service Officers will process the request and attempt to locate an appropriate interpreter as quickly as possible. The Customer Service Officers will exhaust all local interpreters in the first instance. They will then discuss potential travel costs with you before sourcing interpreters from further afield. In rare cases where the service is not able to allocate an interpreter, we will let you know that we have been unable to fulfil your request and discuss options with you. We will inform you more than 24 hours prior to your requested start time.

When placing a booking request for an interpreter, as much notice as possible should be provided to allow us the time to secure an appropriate interpreter as there is an identified skills shortage in Australia. We cannot guarantee that someone will be available, regardless of when a booking is placed with us, however, bookings placed with more notice give us a greater chance of securing the most appropriate person for your booking.

Number of interpreters required

For assignments less than 50 minutes, one interpreter is usually adequate, dependant on the situation. For bookings of 50 minutes or longer, a team of two or more interpreters are usually required due to work health and safety guidelines and quality assurance requirements. Fees are charged for each interpreter booked.

In regard to conferences, three interpreters may be required dependent upon the duration and work load. For events with multiple streams, multiple interpreters may need to be arranged to work in teams. This will be assessed on a case by case basis by Deaf Society Interpreting as booking requests are processed.

Where an interpreter is working without a co-interpreter, they will require at least 15 minute break after every 50 minutes of continuous interpreting, or more depending on the type of assignment.

Interpreters working in a team will alternate every fifteen to thirty minutes, and together determine the most effective way of working in each situation.

Recruitment and selection of interpreters

We endeavour to secure the most appropriately skilled interpreter for each assignment and the following is taken into consideration when contacting interpreters:

  • level of accreditation (interpreters with higher accreditation are considered more favourably)
  • deaf and hearing customer preferences
  • interpreters location
  • interpreter qualifications, training and experience and
  • whether the interpreter is a part of NAATI’s revalidation system

We are committed to the employment of accredited interpreters. The only situation where an unaccredited interpreter may be used is, with customer approval, if there is a funeral and there are no accredited interpreters available.

Interpreter accreditation and appropriate types of work

  1. NAATI Conference Level interpreters are the highest level in the Auslan interpreting field. Conference Interpreters operate in diverse situations and this accreditation recognises the skills generally used in conferences, high-level negotiations, and court proceedings.
  2. NAATI Professional Level interpreters are required for court/legal work, conferences, theatre interpreting, all large group meetings and for most public settings.
  3. NAATI Para-professional Level interpreters are suitable to be used for smaller groups/meetings and one-to-one appointments. In some situations which would normally require a practitioner of Professional standard, a Para-professional interpreter may be contracted, except in legal settings, as long as the consent of all parties is sought and received.
  4. Deaf interpreters are deaf people with specialist language skills who work with deaf clients who:
  • Have minimal skills in Auslan, due to educational or linguistic disadvantage, or
  • Have minimal skills in Auslan, due to intellectual disability, or
  • Have minimal skills in Auslan, having recently migrated to Australia, or
  • Are deafblind

Deaf interpreters work in teams with Auslan interpreters in order to facilitate communication. As with Auslan interpreters, Deaf interpreters cannot fulfil other roles (such as community worker or advocate) whilst in their interpreting role.

Rates

NDIS Customers (GST Free)

Service Type Rates
Onsite Interpreting
Standard rate (up to 2 hours) $234.00
Per 15 min increment thereafter at a standard rate $29.25
Video Remote Interpreting
Standard rate (up to 1 hour) $117.00
Per 15 min increment thereafter at standard rate $29.25

 

All other cistomers (includes GST)

Service Type Rates
Onsite Interpreting
Standard rate per interpreter (2 hr minimum booking) $257.40
Per 15 min increment thereafter at standard rate $32.17
Video Remote Interpreting
Standard rate per interpreter (1 hr minimum booking) $128.70
Per 15 min increment thereafter at standard rate $32.17

Where a booking finishes earlier than the booked time, fees will be charged as per the original booking time.
If a booking goes over time then fees are charged in increments of 15 minutes. For example, where an interpreter works 12 minutes overtime, then the charge will be for 2 hours and 15 minutes; if they work 20 minutes over then the charge will be 2 hours and 30 minutes.
A short notice fee of $22.00 applies to all bookings received within 3 business days of the appointment time, except for bookings paid for by a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package.
Customers should be aware that in addition to standard rates, bookings outside Sydney metropolitan areas may attract travel charges.

Cancellations and amendments to bookings

If you have a booking being paid for with a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package, and that booking is cancelled within 24 hours (business days only) of the appointment time, 100% of the fee will be charged.
For all other bookings, if cancelled within 48 hours (business days only) of the appointment time, 100% of the fee will be charged.
If your booking is for 11am on a Tuesday, you will need to cancel before 11am on the preceding Friday to avoid the cancellation fee. The same system applies to other jobs on a weekday. However, if your booking is on a Saturday or Sunday, you have until 5pm on the preceding Wednesday to cancel your booking and avoid the cancellation fee. Use the following table to calculate your cancellation period:

Day of your booking Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Please cancel before booking start time on Thurs Fri Mon Tues Wed Before COB on Wed Before COD on Wed

If a customer does not attend a booking, or if Deaf Society Interpreting has not been informed of a cancellation, 100% of the fee will be charged. Interpreters will wait for 30 minutes for the customer/s to arrive. Should they fail to appear the interpreter may leave after having consulted with a representative of the booking organisation and having contacted Deaf Society Interpreting. In this instance we will charge for the time of the original booking.
Any change of booking address within 48 hours (business hours) of the booking start time which is in excess of 30 minutes by car from the original booking address then 100% of the fee will be charged. Travel time is calculated using Google Maps from the original assignment location to the new assignment location.
Any change of booking time within 48 hours (business hours) of the assignment will incur a 100% cancellation fee on the original booking time if the interpreters booked are not available at the new time.
A reduction in the length of booking time within 48 hours (business hours) of the booking start time will still be charged at the original booking time length.

Travel expenses

From time to time, travel fees may be incurred whether this is in the Sydney Metropolitan area or further. Preference is given to interpreters who live in the region of a job, and a travel fees will only be charged if the Customer Service Officers are unable to fill a job with a local interpreter. If this is required, they we will contact you to discuss this before proceeding with a quote. The quote will need to be accepted proir to confirming an interpreter. Video Remote Interpreting and/or captioning may also be considered. Where an interpreter/s has to travel greater than 100km (round trip) a travel charge applies, see below:

Accommodation
Where accommodation is required, it is possible for us to make these arrangements on your behalf. These charges are non-refundable even if the booking gets cancelled. They will be added to your final invoice. Accommodation is to be booked in a standard reputable motel room or apartment in reasonable proximity to the interpreting location.

Meals Allowance

A meal allowance charge will apply if:
1. An interpreter is required to stay away from home overnight and meals are not included in the accommodation package or at the booking.
2. An interpreter is required to leave home before 6am or arrive home after 8pm on the day of the booking due to the travel required.

Meal Rate
Breakfast $15
Lunch $20
Dinner $40

Driving

If the interpreter allocated is driving to the booking:

  • Travel time to and from the booking is charged at the hourly interpreting rate.
  • Kilometres are charged at $0.86c (includes GST) per km travelled.
  • Kilometres and travel time are calculated using Google Maps from the interpreter location to the booking address. Travel time is calculated using the booked start and finish time of the assignment.
  • Additional charges may apply for car parking fees incurred by the interpreter. This will be negotiated at the time of the booking.

Flights

If the interpreter allocated is flying to the booking:

Charges consist of:

  • A travel loading payment of $50 (equivalent to $25.00 each way for travel to and from home to the airport).
  • 1 hour airport wait time per flight (1 hour at the hourly rate at each airport).
  • In air flight time charged at the hourly rate, as per the scheduled flight time.
  • Travel time at the hourly rate from landing at the airport to the hotel/venue for the booking and then return to the airport.
  • $30 per hour wait time, if the flight is cancelled or delayed, capped at 5 hours.
  • Uber is available for travel at the booking location, or otherwise negotiated transport.
  • All our flights are booked through Flight Centre. Standard travel/baggage insurance and carbon offsets will be included. These charges are non-refundable even if the booking gets cancelled. These costs are added to the final invoice.

Payments

The Deaf Society will forward all invoices regularly after each service has been provided. The payment terms for invoices are 14 days from the invoice date. We appreciate prompt settlement of your account. If this cannot be achieved, please feel free to make contact with our finance department on account.enquiries@DeafSociety.com.

Code of ethics for Sign Language Interpreters

All interpreters employed by Deaf Society Interpreting are expected to adhere to the ASLIA Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct. As part of the tenet of Integrity of Professional Relationships, we strongly encourage all interpreters to become members of ASLIA National and to keep up to date with any ASLIA events in their state. Further information about ASLIA can be obtained online at www.aslia.com.au​.

Quality assurance

We maintain both a formal and informal feedback method that assists us in making service improvements. Customers will be contacted via phone on a random basis by our Customer Service Team for feedback.

The information received from phone calls and surveys remains confidential. The feedback is designed to enable us to monitor the quality of our service.

Personal Information

The personal information we collect from you will be recorded and used for providing our services to you, including evaluating and planning our services.  Without this information we may not be able to provide the services to you. If you include information about other people in your booking, e.g. a deaf employee, we may disclose your name and contact details to them during the process of informing them about the progress of the booking. To read more about how we treat your personal and sensitive information, including how you can access your information or ask us to correct it, see our privacy statement

Complaints and feedback

We welcome feedback about our services from all customers. To give feedback whether positive or constructive, you can contact our Customer Service Officers.

To make a complaint customers can:

  • Use the complaints form
  • Contact the Deaf Society
  • Address a complaint in writing or in Auslan (on DVD) to the Complaints Officer: Complaints Officer

                   Complaints Officer

                   The Deaf Society

                   PO Box 1300

                   Parramatta NSW 2124

  • Make an appointment with our staff to provide feedback over Skype, or email.

All complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the Deaf Society’s Complaints and Feedback Policy. Customers can also seek advice through an external agency (e.g. NAATI, Disability Complaints Service, Anti-Discrimination Board, and Australian Human Rights Commission) at any stage.