Item Coversheet

Action Item - 38.

Title: Contracts with Deaf Hearing Communication Centre, Inc. and Deaf-Hearing Interface, LLC for Substitute Sign Language Services and CART Services ($360,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration

 The Administration recommends that the Board of Education authorize The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute and perform a contract, subject to funding, as follows: 


Deaf Hearing Communication Centre, Inc. 

Deaf-Hearing Interface, LLC


To provide sign language interpreters to fill staffing vacancies and absences

 Start date: 7/1/2020

 End date: 6/30/2021
 Compensation not to exceed: $360,000 
 Separate Compensation by Vendor:

Deaf Hearing Communication Centre, Inc. - $240,000.00

Deaf-Hearing Interface, LLC - $120,000.00

All Schools; Administrative Offices.

 Renewal Options:  No


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the District provide sign language interpretation services to deaf and hard of hearing students if needed or required by their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Whenever possible, the District assigns full-time sign language interpreter staff to qualifying students.  When District staff is not available, contracted sign language interpreters are relied upon to cover staffing absences and vacancies. In addition to sign language interpreter staffing absences that may occur, the District anticipates at least two full time sign language interpreter staffing vacancies for the 2020/2021 school year.


The District is proposing to contract with Deaf Hearing Communication Centre, Inc. (DHCC) and Deaf-Hearing Interface, LLC (D-HI) to provide credentialed and highly qualified sign language interpreters to cover District sign language interpreter staffing absences and vacancies, and to provide deaf and hard of hearing students with Computer Aided Realtime Translation services when needed. The District does not have its own internal substitute service for sign language interpreters.  Therefore, the provision of contracted sign language interpreters through these agencies is needed to ensure coverage.


Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public institutions make reasonable accommodations for all people with disabilities, including employees, parents and members of the public that they invite on its premises or to whom they provide services.  When District sign language interpreters are not available due to absences, vacancies and scheduling conflicts, the District, often on short notice, will need contracted sign language interpreters to provide mandated interpretation services to deaf and hard of hearing parents, community members and staff.

 Anchor Goal(s) Supported: Anchor Goal 1 - 100% of students will graduate ready for college or career, Anchor Goal 2 - 100% of 8-year olds will read on or above grade level   

 Funding Source(s): 
FY21 Operating

 Office Originating Request: Academic Support