The RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (RICDHH) provides direct services in its operation of sign language interpreter/CART referral services throughout the State of Rhode Island. RICDHH created the pilot program for the sign language interpreter referral service in 1990. After 3 successful years, RI CDHH established the Interpreter Referral Service in 1993 by awarding a contract to Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL) for providing the service. In May 2003, RICDHH decided to move the Interpreter Referral Service in-house. Specialized interpreters are also available (CDI, Oral, Deafblind, Cued Speech, etc.). In May 2009, RICDHH added the Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) service to its Interpreter Referral Service on a pilot basis. After successful pilot, CART service now became part of the RICDHH Referral Service permanently on March 17, 2010. The CART service, one of other reasonable and effective accommodations offered in Rhode Island, is frequently used by hard of hearing people and cochlear implant users, as well as deaf people, in order to have maximum communication access.
RI CDHH's Interpreter/CART Referral Service does not charge a fee for referrals. All qualified interpreters/CART providers that are referred by RI CDHH are independent vendors. The Referral Specialist is responsible to locate the interpreters/CART providers for assignments and is responsible for gathering billing information so the interpreters/CART providers can bill the agency (requestor) directly for their interpreting or CART services.
Interpreters/CART providers are available for a variety of settings that require communication access such as public events, employment, trainings/workshops, doctor visits, mental health services, health care facilities, classrooms, meetings, cultural events, courts, religious activities, governmental agencies and functions (legislative sessions, hearings, inaugurations, town hall meetings), theatrical performances, and many more.