Manitoba School for the Deaf (MSD)

Interpreting Services

ASL-English interpreting services at MSD are provided by the Manitoba Education Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Unit interpreting team. Currently this team consists of three full-time interpreters who provide ASL–English interpretation and translation for the provincial outreach team as well as for MSD. The team also relies on a few casual interpreting staff and community interpreters who are called upon when needed.

An interpreter is a trained professional who facilitates communication between two or more people who do not use the same language. At MSD, ASL-English interpreters are commonly used to facilitate communication among Deaf, hard of hearing, and non-deaf people with the goal of providing equal access to information and conversation. These services are regularly utilized by staff, students, families, consulting professionals, government officials, and school teams. This is done in a variety of settings, including committee meetings, staff meetings, assemblies, concerts, PD events, parent-teacher meetings, off-site courses at partnering schools, field trips, extra curricular activities, etc.

Each member of the team is a trained interpreter who has graduated from a recognized ASL-English interpreting program and is an active member of The Canadian Association of Language Interpreters (CASLI) and The Manitoba Association of Visual Language Interpreters (MAVLI). They are accountable to the CASLI Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct.


Additional Information for Parents

Community Interpreting Services

There will be times when interpretation is needed for non-school–related activities. In these instances, you can book trained interpreters in Winnipeg and the surrounding area through the E-quality Communication Centre of Excellence (ECCOE). ECCOE provides interpreting services for a variety of settings, including medical appointments, legal appointments, religious services and ceremonies, recreational activities, performing arts, employment meetings/training, counseling/social work, etc. For further information, visit their website or call 204-457-6332.

Leisure Guide Interpreting Services

The City of Winnipeg will provide ASL-English interpreters at no charge for any Leisure Guide activity in which your child is registered. Please consult the Leisure Guide or call 204-986-1311 (TTY) for more information or to request an interpreter.

Post Secondary Educational Interpreting Services

Red River College, The University of Manitoba, and The University of Winnipeg all have services available to meet the needs of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Interpreters, note takers, and other services are provided at no cost to the student. If your child is planning to continue their education beyond high school, these arrangements can be made through each institution’s Disability Services department.


Things to Remember When Working with an Interpreter

  • American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete language with its own syntax and grammatical structure. When using an interpreter there may be a delay between your question/comment and the response. This is because the interpreter is likely to be a few phrases behind the speaker or signer in order to receive, comprehend, and then interpret a complete concept.
  • Speak directly to the person you are talking to. Avoid phrases such as “tell him…” or “ask her to…”
  • Speak at your normal pace; the interpreter will seek clarification if needed.
  • The interpreter is present to facilitate communication and does not take part in discussions, offer opinion, or participate in the interaction.
  • Depending on the duration or complexity of the interaction, there may be a need for two interpreters.
  • There are many factors to consider when determining the best positioning for the interpreter. Interpreters and/or participants can work with you to determine the best placement.