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South Korea: Deaf Koreans Have Access to Interpreting Services: Interpreter, CDI, and VRS

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This is the Sign Language Interpretation Center of Yongsan. One of Sign Language Translation Centers in South Korea. Yes! This center has CDIs! The procedure of using the CDI is the same to what we do in America, but interpreting services in South Korea are often used by Deaf Koreans who are senior citizens because of the lack of access to Education when they were younger. They did not have access to written language back then. So, they way of communicating and thinking in Korean Sign Language is different from what hearing Koreans can understand and that becomes the problem. That’s when the CDI comes in to facilitate that communication among the Deaf Korean, KSL interpreter and the hearing person.

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Unfortunately, the person who is a Certified Deaf Interpreter(CDI) is too camera-shy for me to introduce to you all.

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Sometimes the CDI will translate to written Korean language to the hearing person in conversation, but if that becomes a struggle for the CDI, a KSL interpreter will come in to help facilitate the conversation.

Generally, any Deaf Korean that needs a hearing person to interpret in KSL will come in to make reservation for any reason and the interpreter will go to wherever with the Deaf Korean needs to have the conversation with a hearing person. Reasons for this could be for police officers, lawyers, doctors, important meetings, etc.

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Besides that… South Korea DOES have Video Relay Services (VRS) funded by their government just like us in America. They even have products, apps and more for their service providers. Not only that, they also have regions for their services. (Psst—South Korea is more strong in using Samsung products rather than Apple products)

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In case you are not aware of the concept of VRS; it is a form of sign language interpreting service that enables persons with hearing disabilities who use American Sign Language to communicate via sign language interpreter with voice telephone users through video equipment.

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In the states, we have few competing VRS providers with their own brands and they are also funded by the government (Federal Communications Commission – FCC).

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ASL Services Holdings, LLC. (branded as GlobalVRS)

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Communication Axess Ability Group (branded as CAAGVRS)

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Convo Communications, LLC

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Purple Communications, Inc.

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Sorenson Communications, Inc. (SorensonVRS)

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CSDVRS, LLC (branded as ZVRS)

To be honest, I didn’t think there would be VRS providers in other countries because I am aware that Canada is fighting to get their own VRS provider, so I assume that it has been the same for others.

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The bottom line is that it is just so awesome to see that Deaf Koreans do have the same access to communicating with hearing people in multiple forms. It’s a good feeling to know that the USA is not the only one with full access to VRS.

Agreed?

To read the ASL version of this article, please go to our Facebook video post.

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Calvin Young

Calvin Young

Hey buddy! I go by Calvin and I'm a Deaf traveler. I love exploring the world to discover and share amazing stories, useful tips, stunning photographs, jaw-dropping videos and many more with you all! I aim to empower and inspire the Deaf people that they can do anything they want through my travels.

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HAM
HAM
6 years ago

VRS in Korea must be fairly new. I remember asking a working at the HQ Interpreter Training Center in Seoul last year and she said that it didn’t exist. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m glad to see that all the protests are moving the country forward in their thinking. FYI- KSL classes in Korea are cheap. I paid the equivalent of 15 dollars for a 10 week course.

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