FAQ Archives

How do I qualify for the CAIRS Interpreter Gas Card Assistance Program?

In order to be eligible for the monthly $50.00 gas card, an interpreter must perform a minimum of 30 total assignments per month with no give-backs and no-shows.

What's the difference between "mileage" and "travel time?"

Mileage is reimbursed at the federal rate of $0.55 per mile for the total miles to and from an assignment. Travel time is the length of time it takes an interpreter to travel to and from an assignment, which will be reimbursed at a rate equivalent to the interpreters hourly rate of pay for a maximum of 3 hours.

If an assignment is cancelled with a charge to the client, can I still be reimbursed for time and a half?


How long do I have to remain at an assignment if the Deaf or Hard of Hearing client is a no-show?

If the assignment is for a college course, the appropriate wait time is 15 minutes for every 30 minutes of the class. For all other assignments, the interpreter can be held for the entire length of the assignment if no authorized person releases them.

What is CAIRS policy for travel time when multiple assignments unexpectedly occur at one location?

If an interpreter goes to a location to fulfill a previously scheduled and booked assignment, and additional same-day assignment requests, at the same location, are made by a client — the interpreter will then qualify for travel time to and from the location (in addition to short-notice and/or emergency fees for each new assignment). Therefore, the interpreter will receive travel time "to" the location for the first assignment, and travel time "from" the location for the last assignment. This policy applies even when the additional same-day/same-location assignment requests are for differing Deaf individuals.

What is CAIRS policy for addressing assignment time extensions made by clients?

In the event that a client’s booked assignment request is followed by a new assignment request, which is for the same deaf client, in the same location, on the same day as original request — the new request will have short notice and/or emergency fees applied.

When do CAIRS interpreters become eligible for travel time reimbursement?

Travel Time will be applied when the date of the assignment is less than one full business day from the date the request was placed.

What is the proper process for assignment give backs?

When giving back an assignment, the interpreter must directly inform the coordinator through whom the assignment was originally booked. That specific coordinator has "notific ation priority" and must be made aware that you cannot complete the assignment. Please note that if you do not speak directly with or receive a confirmation email/text message from the original booking coordinator, the assignment has not been properly given back. Accepted means of notification are: phone calls, emails, or text messages. Notification of other CAIRS coordinators is also recommended to ensure everyone is aware of the assignment give-back. In addition, if the give-back occurs on the same business day as the scheduled and booked assignment, the interpreter must also directly inform the on-site client contact that they cannot fulfill the assignment and that they have informed CAIRS.

What is CAIRS Assignment Core Information Protocol?

CAIRS freelance interpreters are very busy highly skilled professionals who must always be provided with the essential information required to accept and satisfactorily complete an assignment. Therefore, CAIRS Assignment Core Information Protocol was developed and implemented in 2008 to ensure that all CAIRS interpreters are consistently provided with essential assignment details. CAIRS considers the mandatory information outlined in the CAIRS Assignment Core Information Protocol to be the minimum necessary and will not offer assignments to interpreters when a client is unable or unwilling to provide the indicated information.

Before any assignment can be offered to a CAIRS interpreter for consideration and acceptance, all core information below must be provided by a client:

  • Location, time and date of assignment
  • Time duration and interpreting-Intensity of assignment (evaluated by CAIRS rating criteria)
  • Name of primary deaf client (if relevant and known)
  • Subject type and topic of assignment (generic, legal consultation or deposition, medical, mental health, technical, etc.)
  • If at-large deaf community involved, then number and roles of deaf persons participating
  • Preferred minimum skill level (if known) and interpreting skills (ASL, PSE, Tactile, Oral)
  • On-site contact person, phone number and e-mail
  • Billing contact person and address (if different from contact person)

What special CAIRS policies and terminology are applied when processing assignments?

In order to ensure that all client assignment requests are processed in a uniform manner that incorporates all necessary information, CAIRS implemented an Assignment Lifecycle in 2008. The CAIRS Assignment Lifecycle assists both coordinators and interpreters in understanding the stage of processing for each assignment request. At no time will CAIRS interpreters be offered an assignment until all “core” information is first provided by the client (see CAIRS Assignment Core Information Protocol).

Specifically, each assignment request consists of three stages of processing: Requested Status; Confirmed Status and Booked Status (see definitions below):

  • Requested Status: Assignment request has been received by CAIRS, but requires additional core information.
  • Confirmed Status: All core information has been provided and the assignment is ready for offering to interpreters.
  • Booked Status: Confirmed assignment has been successfully offered and accepted by an interpreter.

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