What If I Don't Use An Interpreter
We are the insurance. If there is ever a question as to how effective the communication is or was, how are you going to prove it?
Serious consquences can result in the absence of accurate and effective communication. We have seen tragic situations that could have been avoided if an interpreter had been called in.
The American's With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not say that an "interpreter" is required. It says that the Deaf person is entitled to effective communication via whatever "auxillary aid" will provide that effectiveness.
It is up to both the Deaf and Hearing consumer to ascertain whether communication is effectively happening. Often, Hearing people think the Deaf person's nod is an acknowledgement of their understanding of what is being said. In fact, more times than not, this isn't the case at all. This situation is similar to a person who laughs along with a group of people after hearing a joke, even though they didn't actually get the punchline. It is natural for people to want to appear to understand.
If, in fact, the Deaf person is not understanding the information at hand, and an interpreter is not used, catastrophic consequences can happen. How would you feel about going into surgery for a serious operation without understanding what is going to be done and what to expect? Clear discharge instructions are essential. If they are not understood, illness and even death can occur when medication/instruction are given to someone who has not been accurately advised.