Tuesday, 12 September 2017

ASL Terps: Swamped with access demands...

Interestingly it reveals that reports of a 'fake' ASL terp were inaccurate, it was in fact a CODA helping out deaf family members when there wasn't a terp available.

Raises an interesting point here in the UK, given 76% of ALL deaf rely on CODA's or other family members for translation and support and opposed challenges to that.

With Hurricane Harvey devastating southeast Texas and Hurricane Irma sweeping over Florida- first responders have packed up their bags to travel across the country and help out. One community in particular has experienced difficulty through it all- the Deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired community.

Nationwide, Sign Language Interpreters are in need.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrates there will be a 29% growth in the amount of interpreters needed in the nation- that's more than double the national average for most jobs at just 7%.

During disasters- the need could be even higher. 'Most of your certified, highly qualified interpreters also work for the video relay service companies,' said Lori Dowds, a sign language interpreter with Access 2 Sign Language in Colorado Springs. With flooding in call centers in both Texas and Florida- interpreters in Colorado are taking on extra work.

Paul Simmons and Bev Buchanan are a married couple in Colorado Springs, they are both deaf.  Buchanan teaches classes at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

'Do I need a sign language all the time when I'm working. No I don't, just when I'm in class,' said Buchanan.  Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) are utilized in times of need, especially in the event of a disaster, there is a specific process these interpreters go through to become certified.  "Many people think sign language interpreters exist for the deaf to communicate, but that's not the case- they exist to facilitate communication for all of us," said Paul Simmons with the Rocky Mountain ADA Center

A difference many people don't understand, some times people who understand sign language will volunteer to 'interpret'- which can often do more harm than good.  A video of a press conference in Manatee county Florida caught the attention of many people online, the sign language interpreter was not a CDI.

As it turns out, the man only had a deaf relative and was not an interpreter at all.