As one of the oldest and largest sign language interpreter referral agencies in the Midwest, our more than 200 interpreters work “with us” as professional partners in providing vital services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
CAIRS more than two decades of experience in partnering with freelance interpreters of all skill levels, ensures that we understand how to efficiently provide the collaborative high quality support that our interpreters require. Moreover, CAIRS’ hearing and Deaf coordinators collectively possess more than seventeen years of experience in effectively supporting our partner interpreters. CAIRS is also a fully insured referral agency listed in good standing with the American Better Business Bureau(BBB).
CAIRS works primarily with interpreters who are graduates of specialized degree programs. In Illinois, we work ONLY with interpreters who are actively licensed by the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission(IDHHC)in accordance with state law. In Indiana and Minnesota, CAIRS works ONLY with interpreters who are actively registered/certified with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and/or Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (Minnesota Department of Human Services).
CAIRS also strictly requires that all our interpreters conduct themselves professionally in accordance with the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct, as issued by the nationally recognized Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). All new interpreters are expected to review and complete the CAIRS’ Freelance Interpreter Handbook, as well as, provide requested documentation as part of the enrollment process.
CAIRS possesses an extensive registry of interpreters which assists us in fulfilling the unique needs of our Deaf consumers. The diverse professional experience of our partner interpreters extends into the areas of health care, education, law, mental health, social service, law enforcement and entertainment. In Illinois, as of 2012, more than 64% of all our interpreters possess either a Master or Advanced level State of Illinois license (33% Master and 31% Advanced). An additional 26% possess an Intermediate level license.
By working with a large, professionally operated highly experienced agency like CAIRS, freelance interpreters enjoy many advantages to include:
- CAIRS offers a wide variety of available assignments throughout the the Northern Illinois and Indiana areas which permit interpreters to quickly improve their skills through work experience. Our long established relationships with governmental agencies, universities, colleges, hospitals, medical groups, law firms and other community based organization enables CAIRS to offer an extensive selection of assignments 365 days a year.
- CAIRS Emergency Pager Service (EPS) (presently limited to Illinois)offers our higher skilled freelance interpreters tremendous flexibility via the option of electing assignments 24/7. Our EPS is the largest and most well established program of its type in Illinois and is directly managed by our senior coordinator. In addition, participating EPS Team interpreters also receive increased reimbursement rates, as well as enjoying more assignment choices.
- CAIRS experienced coordinators consistently match interpreters to the appropriate assignments and ensure that interpreters are provided with all essential assignment information. Our coordinators only offer open assignments to interpreters — after clients provide all essential information.
- CAIRS permits our freelance interpreters to be their own boss and only choose the exact assignments that they desire and which match their professional skill levels.
- CAIRS performs all marketing, billing, payment and 1099 processing services for its interpreters. CAIRS’ Finance Director possesses a Masters Degree in Accounting and is always available to address individual interpreter inquires.
- CAIRS manages the CMP Sponsor Program to directly assist our RID-registered interpreters with their ongoing educational efforts.
- CAIRS funds workshops and works with the Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ILRID) to support continuing interpreter education. In future, CAIRS intends to expand collaboration with the Indiana RID Chapter to likewise promote interpreter education and professional growth.