American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Services
Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters (WAVLI)
WAVLI members adhere to the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada’s Code of Ethics. This guides interpreters and ensures a high quality of service. Find a registered interpreter in B.C. through WAVLI’s referral services. You can also access the directory of interpreters.
Interpreters are available for a variety of government services.
Income and Disability Assistance Offices
For applicants or recipients who do not comprehend or communicate through written or spoken English, the ministry can provide access to interpretation services by telephone and, on a case-by-case basis, in person. Interpreters may be available on 24 hour notice. Apply for assistance.
WorkBC Employment Services Centres
WorkBC Employment Services Centres help cover the cost of ASL interpreting and captioning services. You can use interpretation services to take part in:
- Approved Employment Program of BC services
- Job search
- Job start
- Job retention during the first 4 weeks of employment
Health - Medical Interpreting Services (MIS)
Medical Interpreting Services (MIS) is a Provincial Sign Language Interpreter booking service funded by the Provincial Health Services Authority. MIS provides a qualified Sign Language Interpreter for most medical appointments in communities across British Columbia.
Legal – Court Services
Individuals who are a party to court proceedings in B.C. will be provided with an interpreter in the following situations:
- Provincial and Supreme Court criminal adult and youth cases
- Family cases in Provincial Court
- Traffic court cases
- Municipal bylaw cases
- Upon court order, in any court
To ensure an appropriate interpreter can be secured, individuals should contact the interpreter clerk at their local court registry as soon as possible with their request. More information is available on the Ministry of Justice website.
RCMP and Vancouver Police Department
The Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) works with the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department to provide interpreters for police and legal situations.
Contact the police officer involved in your file to request an interpreter. Interpreters are available for scheduled appointments or for emergency situations.
For more information, contact WIDHH Community Interpreting Services:
- 604 731-9413 (voice)
- 778 327-4375 (TTY)
Mental Health – Deaf Well Being Program
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority manages the Deaf Well Being Program (WBP). The WBP offers mental health services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Deaf-Blind people. Services across B.C. include:
- Mental health counselling therapy
- Mental health and addictions appointments interpreting services
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction support
- Mental Health Community Workshops
The WBP partners with various community service providers.
Post-Secondary Communication Access Services (PCAS) at BCIT
Post-Secondary Communication Access Services (PCAS) at BCIT is a province-wide service to support students who are deaf or hard of hearing. PCAS provides information on how to access:
- Speech-to-text services
- Assistive technology
- Other services and supports
Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Hearings
The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) offers dispute resolution for landlords and tenants. RTB provides accredited American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients.
Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal
Interpreters are available for Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal hearings. If you need an interpreter, you can ask for one:
- On your Notice of Appeal form (PDF)
- By phone
- By email
Interpreter Request Service
If you’re a B.C. resident and need an interpreter to support:
- Participation in your community
- Inclusion at family events
- Job interviews
- Bridging the gaps in accessibility to some other service providers
Request an interpreter through Preferred Interpreting Services. Funding is not available for all services and events.
You can contact a freelance interpreter, interpreter booking agency or interpreting student volunteer. These services are available for a fee.