On-site Interpretation Services

Interpretation: the rendering of something spoken, from one language into another.


The Translation and Interpretation Unit does not provide interpretation services for school-based events. Schools are encouraged to make use of their translation / interpretation funding allocations, as detailed in the yearly School Allocation Memorandum regarding translation/interpretation funding, to cover local interpretation needs.


Central and District Offices

How do I request an on-site interpreter?

Complete an Interpretation Request Form and submit it to translations@schools.nyc.gov.

What type of meetings/events does the Unit provide interpreters for?

Types of meetings typically covered include:

  • Citywide parent conferences, fairs, workshops, training sessions, hearings
  • Panel for Educational Policy meetings
  • District CEC meetings
  • Suspension hearings
  • Other citywide parent events

When preparing your request for interpretation services, please remember to:

  • Pre-assess which language(s) will be needed based on past events, pre-registration information or by using home language survey data.
  • Send us a draft of the schedule and agenda for events with multiple workshops or breakout groups.
  • Make sure all promotional and registration materials for your event are translated (see Translation Services).

If you need American Sign Language services, contact the Department of Education’s Office of Sign Language Interpretation Services at 212-689-4020.

Keep the following in mind when offering interpretation services at your events.

  • Make sure to have translated signs prominently displayed at the entrance of the facility in which your event is taking place. Common translated signs are availble on the Translation Resources page.
  • Remember that the interpreter is to be utilized solely as a bridge for two parties to communicate and is not a source for general information for either party.
  • Be aware that there may be more than one interpreter per language at your event.
  • Abstain from having more than one person speak at one time.
  • If an interpreter is working alone, he or she may need frequent breaks.
  • If a script or presentation is being read, provide the interpreter with a copy of the material ahead of time. Also, please advise the presenter to speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
  • When providing consecutive interpretation (i.e., speaker and interpreter taking turns), remember to advise the speaker to pause after every sentence or thought to allow the interpreter to relay the message.
  • If you are using interpretation equipment and have a problem with it, please advise parents to see the technician or facilitator in charge. Avoid referring parents directly to the interpreter.
  • Assure that all interpretation equipment is handled properly and returned at the conclusion of the meeting.