P.O. Box 16804
Jacksonville, FL 32245
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ORLANDO, February 2, 2018--- After a string of mishaps regarding the use of sign language interpreters during televised broadcasts, the Florida Legislature is taking steps to address it.
Florida has in statute (252.35) a state comprehensive emergency management plan, which lays out requirements for the Division of Emergency Management. Currently, there are bills in both chambers of the Florida Legislature to amend this statute and require a qualified sign language interpreter be included in televised broadcasts. The Senate bill (CS/SB 1466) is currently in the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security committee, the only committee it will see before being sent to the floor. The House Bill (HB 1109) is currently in the Appropriations Committee, the second of three committees it will go through.
In both versions of the bill, a qualified interpreter is being defined as, “a person who is certified by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.” Being that the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf no longer offers any form of credentialing, the current language of the bill does raise a slight concern. We suspect that this specific language is being used because it would be consistent with the language in other existing statute. The Board of FRID has been in contact with the offices of both of the bill sponsors, Senator Farmer and Representative Stark, to clarify the bill language. The Board of FRID will also reach out to the Division of Emergency Management to open a dialogue with them and to see how we can be of assistance should this bill become law.
Once this change is incorporated into the bill language, the Board of FRID will be in full support of passing this important piece of legislation. We believe that it will help to prevent any further potentially harmful mishaps from occurring. We encourage you to contact your local legislators and ask them to support CS/SB 1466 or HB 1109.
Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID)
FRID is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, which is leading a statewide effort to initiate, sponsor, promote, and execute policies and activities that will further the profession of interpreting and the provision of qualified interpreters for Deaf and hard of hearing Floridians.
Name: Adam Ledo
Email: President@fridcentral.org*** Download PDF Version ***