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.



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

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
  • Live captioning services
  • 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

When placing a booking, as much notice as possible should be provided (a minimum of two weeks is recommended) as it may take time to find an appropriate interpreter/stenographer and 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.

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

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. The office 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/stenographer, then click ‘submit’. Once the booking has been submitted you will receive an automated email or fax confirming your booking has been received by the office. In addition, once an interpreter has been confirmed you will receive another automated email or fax 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/stenographer as quickly as possible. In the case of interpreters, the Customer Service Officers will exhaust all local interpreters in the first instance, before sourcing interpreters from further afield after discussing potential travel costs with you. 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.

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 situation 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.

Interpreting for funerals

We are committed to providing interpreters at no cost for funeral bookings. Free interpreting services will be provided on these occasions for up to three hours.


Standard bookings incur a minimum booking fee (per interpreter), equivalent to two hours for onsite interpreting bookings, and one hour for video remote interpreting. Where an assignment finishes earlier than the booked time, fees will be charged as per the original booking time. Business hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Bookings that are afterhours and/or on a weekend or public holiday also attract an increased fee.

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 working days of the appointment time, except for bookings paid for by a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package.

Where the break between assignments at the same location is less than 2 hours, we will charge from the beginning of the first assignment until the completion of the second assignment. E.g. 2 bookings at the same location from 9am – 11am and from 12pm – 2pm will be charged as one booking from 9am – 2pm.

Customers should be aware that in addition to standard rates, bookings outside Sydney metropolitan areas may attract travel charges. You will be invoiced once the interpreter has claimed their booking in the booking system. Invoices are sent out weekly.

All charges indicated below are inclusive of GST.

Service type Business hours After hours
Onsite interpreting
Standard rate (up to2 hours) $198.00 $235.00
Per 30 min increment thereafter standard rate $49.50 $58.75
Video Remote Interpreting
Standard rate (up to one hour) $143.00 $170.00
Per 15 min increment thereafter  $27.50 $33.00
Standard rate onsite (up to 2 hours) $484.00 -
Standard rate remote (up to 1 hour) $209.00 -

Per 30 min increment thereafter








* Based on a standard captioning booking, and stenographer availability. There may be additional fees for overseas booking requests, or onsite requests in regional areas.

Additional charges for Public holidays may apply. Please contact us for a quote.

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 a customer does not attend an assignment, 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 client/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 assignment address within 2 working days of the assignment 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 interpreter location to the assignment address.

Any change of assignment time within 2 working days of the assignment by 30 minutes or more will attract a 100% cancellation fee.

Travel expenses

For assignments within the Sydney metropolitan area, fees charged are inclusive of travelling expenses. 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. 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:


Travel time to and from the assignment is charged at the hourly interpreting rate. Kilometres are charged at $0.78c per km travelled. Kilometres and travel time are calculated using Google Maps from the interpreter location to the assignment address. Travel time is calculated using the booked time of the assignment rather than the actual time interpreting. Where accommodation is required, it is preferred that the booking customer make these arrangements. However, it is possible for us to add these costs to the final invoice.


Charges consist of:

  • A travel loading payment which totals $50 (which is to cover costs for the interpreter in getting to and from the airport – equivalent to $25.00 each way).
  • 1 hour airport time per flight (1 hour at the regular hourly rate at each airport)
  • In air flight time charged at the regular hourly rate, as per the scheduled flight time
  • Travel time at the regular 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.
  • Cab Charges for travel at the destination location, or otherwise negotiated transport.
  • Where flights and accommodation are required, it is preferred that the booking customer make these arrangements. However, it is possible for Deaf Society Interpreting to add these costs to the final invoice. All our flights are booked through Flight Centre. Flights are booked on either Qantas or Virgin heading to the booking location, dependent upon flight times and pricing, (unless travel is to a regional area and it is necessary to use Rex Airlines). For return flights, Jetstar can be considered. These are non-refundable tickets. Standard travel/baggage insurance and carbon offsets are to be included. Once purchased, ticket costs will be billed to the customer 5 regardless of any cancellations that may take place. Accommodation is to be booked in a standard reputable motel room or apartment in reasonable proximity to the interpreting location.

Other travel related costs


Additional charges may apply for car parking fees incurred by the interpreter. This will be negotiated at the time of the booking.

Meals Allowance

Where an interpreter is required to stay away from home overnight, and the accommodation venue does not provide meals, the booking customer will be charged a meal allowance for each interpreter as follows:

Meal Rate
Breakfast $15
Lunch $20
Dinner $40

Code of ethics for Sign Language Interpreters

All interpreters contracted 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 encourages 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. Both hearing and deaf customers will be contacted via phone on a random basis by Deaf Society Interpreting 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:

  • Contact the Deaf Society
  • Address a complaint in writing or in Auslan (on DVD) to the Complaints Officer: Complaints Officer The Deaf Society PO Box 1300 Parramatta NSW 2124
  • Use the complaints brochure available from the Deaf Society reception desk.
  • 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.