Technology and Communication Solutions (TCS) is the contractor that provides sign language interpreting services for NOAA's Deaf and hard of hearing employees.
In addition to providing qualified and experienced interpreters, TCS provides a web-based scheduling system that permits Deaf employees and other authorized users to schedule appointments with sign language interpreters and manage their individual accounts. Sign language interpreting services are provided upon request, including Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) which uses video or web cameras and telephone lines to provide sign language interpreting services for Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired individuals, through an offsite interpreter in order to communicate with hearing persons; and Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) services also called open captioning, which is a system that converts speech to text.
Services are provided to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area in addition to other NOAA locations throughout the United States. TCS will partner with local interpreting services providers throughout the United States and users shall centrally schedule those services. WFMO will allow each Line or Staff Office to place separate task orders as needed to pay for services provided outside of the DC metropolitan area. To place a task order, contact Adam Santo, the WFMO Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for this contract at Adam.Santo@noaa.gov.
TCS will provide on-site interpreter services during official work hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding Federal Government Holidays. The TCS scheduling system will be accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing employees and contract and program administrators within WFMO. The scheduling system will provide 24 hour access to authorized requestors, and will provide an email confirmation acknowledging your request. In addition, a customer service email account firstname.lastname@example.org has been established for authorized users.
Supervisors of Deaf and hard of hearing employees new to NOAA should notify Tonya.Nelson@noaa.gov to have an account established for the employee in the TCS interpreter scheduling system. TCS will create an account for the employee to become an authorized user.
The scheduling system will provide each authorized user with an individualized account, providing the user with a record of his use of interpreter services. Each authorized user is enabled to view the following information:
Authorized users should request interpreting services by completing the required information in their provided accounts. Authorized users are given the opportunity to request a specific interpreter from the Active List and an opportunity to communicate miscellaneous additional information.
Last minute requests will be handled to the best of availability of the TCS interpreting staff. There is no guarantee of services for request made with less than 5 days advance notice. Cancellations should be given 2 full business days' notice. In the event that the authorized requestor is not able to cancel a request, the supervisor of the requestor may cancel the request by sending an email to the customer service email account 2 full business days in advance of the meeting or event.
Meetings lasting longer than two hours will automatically be assigned two interpreters. The Interpreting Service Team will work with the requestor to determine the appropriate number of interpreters. Interpreting requests should allow 15 minutes before and after start and ending time of the meeting. This ensures that there is enough time for set up, passage through security, as well as additional time that may be needed.
In the event that Interpreting Services are needed for NOAA-wide events, you are requested to go to:
http://www.wfm.noaa.gov/interpreter/interpreterservice.php to complete an on-line Interpreter Request Form. You will receive an email confirmation acknowledging your request.
Please keep in mind that it is very important to schedule and cancel requests within the specific timeframes in order to avoid unnecessary charges. Here are some helpful tips:
It is the requestor's responsibility to communicate directly with the scheduling team in order to provide the best possible customer service. If there are questions in reference to interpreting services, please contact Tonya Nelson at 301-713-6302 or Tonya.Nelson@noaa.gov.
Back to NOAA Sign Language Interpreting Services web page
Page last edited: May 08, 2013