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ADA and Interpreters. Rachel Hayes, Bekki Wilson, Danielle Thurman December 2009
To Be, Or Not To Be Disabled: Of a person: having a physical or mental condition which limits activity, movement, sensation, etc (Oxford Dictionary) A physical or mental handicap that prevents one from enjoying a full normal life or renders incapable of gainful employment (Random house dictionary)
The Before: Interpreters Family and friends that knew sign Mostly volunteer based setting › Helper Philosophy was adopted more often than not
The Before: Communication and Entertainment Technology Closed Caption, Relay services: Nonexistent Emergency lights, Phone, and door lights: Nonexistent Privacy? › Nope, sorry.
Vocational Act 1965 Allowed deaf and hard of hearing people to request an interpreter that wasn’t family To become a qualified interpreter all they needed to know was the manual alphabet › They were not effective as a means of communication › People complained about paying for a less than mediocre interpreter
Rehabilitation Act 1973 on of the first acts of the federal government to prohibit discrimination based on mental or physical impairment. Applied only to federally funded operations
Section 504 Disability (as defined by the federal government): “A persons with a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of major life activities. People who have a history of, or are regarded as having a physical or mental impairments. Major life activities: caring for one’s self, walking, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, learning, etc.
Education Act 1975 Mandated that deaf or hard of hearing students be educated in the least restrictive environment, › Many public districts mainstreamed their students Interpreters, speech training, note takers or tutors. Problem, the students were not always provided with these services
American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) Introduced in 1989 by President George Bush Sr. Passed in 1990( since has been modified several times, most current 2008) Expands prohibition of discrimination to all public businesses and private companies of 15+ employees.
And for the Deaf that means…. ? Hearing impairment only becomes a disability if: › Substantially limits life activities › Has in the past limited activities Interpreters will be provided upon request under threat of citation and fines!!!!
And for Interpreters…? They now have a recognized profession and are compensated › Considered under Auxiliary aids in title 1 and in Rehab act sect. 504 The institution of RID (Registry of Interpreters) › Mandatory membership to be certified › A code of Ethics…no more helpers or machines!
Future Education…? I’ll tell ya what we think should happen! Interpreter training? › Should have classes focused on the ADA › Prerequisites: Code of Ethics and Deaf culture › Specialized classes for educational Interpreters › BA degrees mandatory for ALL interpreters Majors in Psychology or Elementary school Education
Bibliography Frishberg, Nancy. Interpreting: An introduction. RID Publication, 1986. Print. Thomas, Korian. Personal Interview by Bekki Wilson, Rachel Hayes. 11 02 2009. Oklahoma Office of Disability Concerns, . Title I - Who is an "Individual with a Disability" and a "Qualified Individual with a Disability" n. pag. Web. november 2009.