Interpreter service for the disabled

The interpreter service for the disabled aims to promote the possibilities of persons with hearing impairment, vision and hearing impairment or speech impairment to be active members of society on equal terms with others. The interpreter service is intended for persons who due to their disability need interpreting.

Interpreter service is available in Finnish, Swedish and Sami. It is also available in the Finnish sign language and the Finnish-Swedish sign language.

How is interpreter service arranged?

  • The nearest available interpreter is allocated to the customer. If the customer needs interpreter service outside his or her home locality, an interpreter is allocated who works near the place where interpreter service is needed.
  • The customer can choose whether he or she wants to use an interpreter list. If the customer does not want to use an interpreter list, an interpreter who works near the place where interpreter service is needed is allocated to the customer’s booking.
  • Interpretation can be arranged as on-site interpretation or as remote interpretation.

Interpreter service can be used in connection with

  • work
  • study after basic education
  • personal matters
  • participation in society
  • hobbies or recreation.

Interpreter service does not include

  • arranging of other services for the disabled person, e.g. personal assistance
  • interpretation between two sign languages, e.g. between Finnish sign language and Finnish-Swedish sign language
  • interpretation in other sign languages (e.g. American sign language) or International Sign
  • teaching of different communication methods.

The municipalities arrange training in sign language and other communication methods. Contact your municipality of residence for further information.

What does interpretation mean? 

Interpretation means the transmission of a message through sign language or some other equivalent communication method. The interpretation always involves three parties.

For instance sign language, sign-supported speech, speech or written text can be interpreted. The interpreter can, for instance, interpret a Finnish-language form into sign language.

Interpreter service thus also involves translation of short written documents. However, translation of books and equivalent works is not included in the service.

How much interpreter service can you be awarded?

Persons with hearing impairment or speech impairment are entitled to a minimum of 180 hours of interpreter service per year and persons with vision and hearing impairment are entitled to a minimum of 360 hours of interpreter service per year.

If you need more interpreter service, you can apply for additional hours of interpreter service.

Using the service is free of charge.