Play a bigger role in your local community with more open access wherever you go.

Want to join the MVIS pilot? Here's how.
  • Step 1

    Sign up online

    Complete the web form and provide contact and demographic information.

  • Step 2

    Enrollment Call

    Once approved, we will schedule a video call with you to set up your app and explain program terms and conditions.

  • Step 3

    Begin using services

    After completing your application and enrollment call, you will be able to access MVIS services throughout the state of South Dakota.

Are you Deaf and a resident of South Dakota?

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Yes I am.

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Did you know the state of South Dakota is running a new trial offering free Mobile Video Interpreting Services?

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That’s great! Can I sign up now?

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Yes you can!

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Enroll Now

Learn about the MVIS pilot program

MVIS is currently limited to operating in a pilot program status within South Dakota.

What is MVIS?

Mobile Video Interpreting Service is an innovative program made available through a partnership with the South Dakota Department of Human Services.

What is the purpose of MVIS in South Dakota?

South Dakota’s Mobile Video Interpreting Services is being developed as a pilot program to deliver communication solutions for individuals with hearing loss. The program is being designed to help reduce communications barriers in the community when interpreters are not always readily available.

When does the MVIS Pilot Program start?

South Dakota DHS has funded MVIS trials beginning February 2018 and running through most of the year.

When is it appropriate to use MVIS?

The following settings should be deemed appropriate use of MVIS since the conversations with the other party would typically be simple and brief interactions. This is not a complete list and other situations can be considered:

  • Going to a retail store and needing questions answered about particular products i.e. purchasing windows, car shopping, switching insurance carriers
  • Going to a repair shop to discuss an appliance or vehicle repair
  • Going to a financial institution with questions about a current account
  • Receiving prescription instructions from a pharmacist
  • Scheduling an appointment through a front desk receptionist
  • Settings not required to follow ADA regulations i.e. religious entities, private clubs
  • Meetings i.e. Family meetings to discuss important family issues; AA, GA, NA and alike
When is it NOT appropriate to use MVIS?

The following settings should be deemed not appropriate use of MVIS due to ADA obligations for that entity to ensure a qualified sign language interpreter if requested by the consumer:

  • Medical settings
  • Legal settings
  • Educational settings
  • Law enforcement settings
  • Employment settings

Other situations that would be deemed inappropriate, as outlined above, is situations in which relatively complex, lengthy, and/or serious matters will be discussed, such as vehicle purchases or loan closings. During these situations, the cost of the interpreter would be the responsibility of the business unless it causes them undue hardship.

Who can enroll in the MVIS Pilot Program?

The pilot program is open to all residents of South Dakota who communicate using American Sign Language. In order to enroll, individuals must fill out the form found on this website and complete a Videophone activation call.

What do I need to have to participate?

You must have your own smartphone or tablet and data plan. The MVIS app will be available to download for those accepted in the pilot program. You will be responsible for using your own device and data.

What is the goal of the pilot program?

The MVIS pilot program goal is to help ensure that communication for the deaf is equally as effective as those who are hearing. The program is designed to create stronger communities by creating opportunities for more participation and engagement in the local community. It is also designed to support more informed consumers and better economic decisions.

What is the difference between MVIS and other interpreting services?

MVIS is intended to fill the gap when other interpreting services cannot be provided. For example, VRS can only be used when making telephone calls. Providing interpreters or VRI is a covered accommodation that is the responsibility of the service providers. But what about the other times like in support groups, shopping for cars or family meetings? Simply put, MVIS is a video interpreter that you can access when all else fails.

What is the legal definition of effective communication?

The ADA requires that title II entities (State and local governments) and title III entities (businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public) communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities. The goal is to ensure that communication with people with these disabilities is equally effective as communication with people without disabilities.

  • The purpose of the effective communication rules is to ensure that the person with a vision, hearing, or speech disability can communicate with, receive Attachment D information from, and convey information to, the covered entity. 
  • Covered entities must provide auxiliary aids and services when needed to communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities.
  • The key to communicating effectively is to consider the nature, length, complexity, and context of the communication and the person’s normal method(s) of communication.
  • The rules apply to communicating with the person who is receiving the covered entity’s goods or services as well as with that person’s parent, spouse, or companion in appropriate circumstances.
About the Americans With Disabilities Act

Federal law (Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) and/or State law (RSA 521-A and RSA 354-A) generally require an interpreter to be provided when it is necessary to ensure effective communication for a deaf or hard of hearing person, i.e. as effective as it would be between people who hear.

Who must provide the interpreter?

Employers – all private employers with over 15 employees, state and local government and federally funded private employers must provide an interpreter when it is necessary for effective communication unless it would cause an undue burden. For example, an interpreter should be provided for a deaf or hard of hearing person at a job interview or for staff training, but generally does not have to be available full time for the conduct of daily employment activities.

All state and local executive, legislative, and judicial government agencies and instrumentalities, including town boards and departments, police, jails, government licensed facilities, community mental health centers, area agencies, etc. However, an interpreter may not be necessary for a simple or brief communication such as setting up an appointment, where passing notes with a receptionist may be sufficient; whereas one may be necessary for the actual appointment or event, e.g. interview of a deaf person by police or intake worker or speaking in support of an application for zoning permit.

Places which accommodate members of the public such as hospitals, doctor and lawyer’s offices, restaurants, hotels, day care centers, car dealers, or other retail establishments, when the interpreter is necessary for effective communication unless the entity can legitimately claim an undue burden. For example, a business would generally not have to provide an interpreter for a deaf customer, as the communications involved will be typically simple and brief. However an interpreter generally should be provided for a deaf person where relatively complex, lengthy, and/or serious matters will be discussed, such as vehicle purchases, loan closings, lawyer or doctor appointments.

Undue hardship varies depending on the circumstances, however undue hardship may be claimed if paying for an interpreter would be highly or unduly costly to or fundamentally alter an organization’s business or operation. For example, a small business generally would not need an interpreter on a full or even part time basis in order to enable a deaf person to work at his or her business because it may be unduly costly (and also unnecessary), but would have to pay for an interpreter for an employment interview or during orientation.

South Dakota

*Pilot program operates at no cost to enrolled individuals under program terms and conditions.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services administers programs that provide services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impediments. Learn more about South Dakota DHS Deaf Services.