The "Signing" of The Times

Video Conferencing Extends the Reach of American Sign Language Interpreters


American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters have been greatly enabled by the technology revolution in on-demand video conferencing.

The latest in cloud-based video conferencing technology such as Nefsis can reach virtually any desktop with a PC and an Internet connection. This technology can be used to complement and extend existing, site-based facilities giving interpreters a great deal more flexibility. Now video remote interpreters are able to join more business meetings, school and educational venues, legal and medical settings and even social events via online meeting technology. Conversely, events with in-person interpreters can now reach far beyond their physical boundaries to reach anywhere worldwide.

For the deaf or hard of hearing, video conferencing is a working tool to increase interpreter availability and improve the knowledge transfer and personal experience in these settings.

Video Remote Interpreting Capabilities (VRI)

It should be noted that there are fundamental differences between earlier generations of video conferencing technology and Nefsis. Nefsis is a multipoint, software-based system that is capable of using almost any video input and Internet connection. Nefsis manages all the "video mixing" and automatic bandwidth adjustment without the addition complex hardware. Moreover, Nefsis uses scalable video and multi-core concurrency so that multiple videos run faster and smoother.

As such, Nefsis has several capabilities relevant to video meetings ASL interpreters:

  • Installed-sites. Nefsis can use high-bandwidth, dedicated Internet access routes same as any room-based system. Facilities with adequate bandwidth can use HD video conferencing at full resolution and frame rates.

  • Any desktop. Nefsis can also use low-to-medium bandwidth shared access and consumer Internet connections typical in small business, classroom and home scenarios. Nefsis has automatic bandwidth throttling on a per connection basis, so participants at remote facilities need not be left out.

  • Any video camera. You can mix-and-match participants with different webcams, HD video cameras and connection types. Nefsis can use any PC-based video peripheral.

  • Frame rate (fps) over-rides. The meeting host can select low, medium or high quality video, and Nefsis automatically adjusts image resolution and frame rates within bandwidth constraints. This takes place automatically, on a per-connection basis in real-time (i.e., throughout the meeting). Under some circumstances, it may be desirable to override automated settings and manually select a lower resolution image, but a higher frame-rate (frames per second, abreviated fps) to better capture the American Sign Language interpreter's motion. This capability is only used in low-bandwidth (or shared bandwidth) scenarios, but it can be very helpful when needed.

There are many other features that lend themselves to productive sessions. Nefsis includes a built-in suite of web conferencing and collaboration features. For example, meeting hosts can run text chat with some or all meeting participants. This can be useful during question and answer, or live feedback during live, instructor-led sessions. Live application sharing, desktop sharing and white boarding provide more ways to convey ideas and improve communications.

More details: Built-in Web Conferencing | Collaboration Software . . .

Applications using Remote ASL Interpreters

Education and Training. Students are using video conferencing as a tool that allows them a remote educational experience, where otherwise they would not be able to receive instruction in many mainstream classroom settings. The Nefsis conferencing application provides visual highlights such as green boarders and "name tags" for all video and live sharing features, so participants know who is communicating. Instructors can record and playback sessions for future training classes.

ASL Training. A special case of the above, American Sign Language training programs can increase their reach, frequency and practice sessions with online meeting technology.

On-Demand Interpreter Services. Now that video conferencing is available on-the-fly, interpreters and their employers can offer on-demand ASL services.

Court & Civil Deposition VRI.  Nefsis can use any video input and Internet connection type, this added flexibility can be used in court, civil deposition, and any venue where VRI is required.

Medical & Other Professional Services. On-demand video conferencing technology can be used to bring interpreters and their clients into more informative meetings with doctors, accountants, and tax professionals. Nefsis can be used almost anywhere a PC and Internet connection can be found.

More details: Nefsis case studies and applications by industry & trade

Contact Us

FREE TrialNefsis is currently being used in many healthcare and educational settings with ASL interpreters. We welcome you to take a free trial or contact us for a live demonstration or a customer referral.

Additional Resources:

Video Tutorial: Using Nefsis (with ASL Interpreter)
Video Tutorial: Adjusting Video Controls (with ASL Interpreter)
More Tutorial Videos

HD Video Conferencing
Desktop Video Conferencing
Video Conferencing Online Services