Sharon Nutt was working as a sign language interpreter for a larger firm when she decided, “I can provide better service, and make more money”. In 2009, she founded Deaf Communication Services (DCS), focused primarily on arranging sign language medical interpreting for Deaf patients.
When asked to describe her “secret sauce”, Sharon replied, “having prior experience as an interpreter really helped. Interpreters like dealing with us, because of how we treat them, and because we value their feedback. Our goal is to provide the best quality consumer
A year ago, she hired Christian Fillman and Lindsey Hein from a larger competitor, as CEO and COO respectively. Christian says, “Sharon works at the highest ethical standards, and produces only quality services. She’s a humble special woman.” Lindsey adds, “She’s got a big heart. She always wants to do what’s best.” For additional insight, DCS formed an Advisory Board this year, which includes both hearing and Deaf interpreters and legal members.
Sharon discovered the Larimer SBDC when she was hired to interpret for a SBDC client. She then started using the SBDC herself. “They’ve been so great, in everything we’ve needed. Consultant Samantha Peaslee (attorney) helped us navigate some contract issues. We’ve gotten advice on pricing strategies. It’s just been liberating.”
The COVID health crisis has caused DCS to change some strategies. They’ve shifted to virtual interpreting, since face-to-face sessions inside hospitals are very limited. Lisa Leveille with First National Bank (and an SBDC consultant), helped DCS secure a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan, to pay DCS employees despite temporary revenue declines. DCS also obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the SBA.
Sign language interpreters must obtain a national certification, and receive continuing education. A new initiative for DCS is an exciting inaugural event later this year. “We’re planning a large-scale, on-line, professional quality annual summit, called “Terp Academy,” where our interpreters can earn CE credits”, said Christian. Almost 1000 interpreters
have signed up already!
Sharon and DCS proudly provide inexpensive training and communication for their customers, employees, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. “We do it in a way that fosters dignity, and earns loyalty, for both parties”, says Sharon.
Contact Deaf Communication Services at www.deafcs.com