Our Story


 We provide a unique perspective as we are very intimately involved in the interpreting profession and we have a lifetime of experiences as Deaf consumers ourselves. We know best what it is like to receive high-quality versus low-quality American Sign Language interpreting services and where the disconnects are in the industry. 

As a social enterprise, we believe in a holistic approach and are deeply COMMITTED to advancing and leading the industry standards on what the provision of equal and equitable access truly looks like on ALL sides. There has not been a new, innovative, and equitable approach in how sign language services are provided and experienced, leading to a lack of true connection between Deaf and hearing consumers.

While today’s standards may have evolved with the growth of ASL interpreting as a bona fide profession in the last several decades, they were often created with little or no direct input from the deaf people. It pains us that the majority of the Deaf community is expected to just accept any interpreters placed in front of them by agencies to fulfill their ADA services requests. The communication process does not work as well when it lacks transparency and understanding. Our Deaf consumers are required to place a lot of trust in our interpreters and we need to make sure we respect and nurture that trust. Unfortunately, many agencies nowadays often forget the roots of our profession…the Deaf community.

So, what makes us different?

We are strong, bold, loud and proud about our beliefs. One could call us passionate, we consider ourselves determined because we simply canNOT and refuse to accept what has been modeled and practiced for the last half century up to today’s post-COVID world. Instead of solving the problems in providing accessible communications, they continue to create new problems and not resolve the old ones. The world will always continue to evolve…we need to keep evolving as well!

We believe in...

Industry accountability

which is critical to the advancement of Deaf people when they have accessible communications. As Deaf Interpreters, we experience frustration and lack of understanding on both sides of the interpretation process. Frankly...hearing interpreters need to do more. Agencies need to do more. Deaf and hearing consumers need to understand more. We aim to provide education and consulting to all communities.

Not Using common Buzz Words

to gain business like most agencies do. For example, we often see agencies using words like “Deaf centered” (when agencies are NOT owned and run by DEAF folks), “Deaf heart,” “vulnerable populations,” “low costs/rates” with the implication that interpreting quality won’t be affected. We vow to speak the TRUTH and not waver in our commitment to push for true equity in accessible communications everywhere.

deaf consumer engagement

because we know that it takes EVERYONE to achieve effective communication. We cannot emphasize how critical it is to have the Deaf consumers be directly engaged throughout the entire language facilitation process from the time of request to after the completed provision of our services.

A holistic approach

by having our Deaf and hearing consumers take full part in the communication processes from start to finish in addition to recognizing the value of our interpreters. We strive to have all parties recognize their part in making genuine connections instead of having interpreters simply function as the intermediaries.

Truth be told…we know that the problems still exist and we just canNOT wait for someone else to fix them.

Bottom line…

We are not just interpreters (and agency owners). 

We are also change agents.

Our Story

We all grew up Deaf from various educational and family backgrounds and have gone through both the mainstream and Deaf residential school systems. Having Deaf grassroots origins, we all have up close and personal experiences with language deprivation from experiencing it ourselves to witnessing it in our own family members and peers that are moderately to severely language deprived. Often, without realizing it, we became language facilitators to our families and peers. This is what pushed all of us to become professional Deaf Interpreters. 

FACT: Language deprivation is an epidemic in Deaf communities worldwide, which is not surprising when 98% of deaf children in the United States alone do NOT have access to American Sign Language in K-12 education. 

We all have deep roots in the community and, therefore, a profound understanding of the ripple effects of language deprivation and how it ultimately deprives deaf individuals, children and adults alike, from human connections. We have carried these experiences into our work across institutions from academia to non-profits, from private industries to the government sector. We unfortunately recognize the role agencies play in this epidemic and we came together to put an end to this after connecting as Deaf Interpreters.  Together, we make for a superb team to break the mold for what interpreting agencies can and should do in providing true language access.

This is why Rooted Connections was formed.


We aim to redefine what makes for the optimal interpreting experience. We want Deaf and DeafBlind people to realize their power in determining what effective communication means to them. This means utilizing an equitable approach where our Deaf and DeafBlind consumers can play an active role in the accommodation process and be kept in the loop from the start to the end. They also should be able to choose to receive Deaf interpreting services whenever and wherever they need language access.

Language agencies are essentially brokers, connecting people and entities who need to provide language access services to people who need them. The sad truth is that language access agencies have virtually no regulatory oversight. This often leads to the practice of undercutting quality interpreting services to maximize profits and simply treating interpreters as ‘warm bodies’ to fulfill job requests and provide quote-unquote access. Our interpreters, Deaf and Hearing, are NOT just warm bodies simply providing services. 

To be blunt, we do NOT view our consumers and interpreters as walking dollar signs. We CARE about them as human beings and recognize them as full and necessary participants in the process of developing and maintaining human connections even after the interpreting job is done.

To put it simply, it takes EVERYONE to build real connections. That is what effective communication looks like.

We commit to always staying ROOTED.