The National DI Survey asked about the communication forms that Deaf Interpreters use in their work. Three of the communication forms are used by more than half of DI respondents:

  • Visual-gestural communication (67%)
  • Close vision signing (62%)
  • Tactile sign language (56%).

Visual-gestural communication refers to the use of non-standard signs and gestures as a method of communicating with deaf individuals who are semi-lingual or a-lingual. Close vision and tactile forms of sign language are typically used with individuals who are Deafblind.

Other communication settings in which Deaf Interpreters work included these areas:

  • 30% work in trilingual interpreting settings
  • 18% use International Sign Language in their work
  • 18% use a foreign sign language in their work
  • 8% provide oral transliteration
  • 4% provide cued speech transliteration

When respondents were asked to indicate which communication form they are required to use the most in their work, the most frequently selected responses were ASL and a combination of ASL and visual-gestural communication.