Professionals vs. Amateurs

Legislation passed a law that states that only Legal Certified (LC) interpreters will be permitted by law to interpret legal court proceedings. The law goes into effect September 1, 2006. Presently, level III/basic professional signers are approved to continue to offer these specialized services up until this date. They have until 9/1/06 to obtain the LC certificate should they wish to be able to continue to do legal assignments.

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These requirements are based on the need as to ensure the interpreter is competent in the understanding of legal vocabulary and courtroom dynamics, and can prove the ability to interpret such communications clearly and efficiently with accuracy. Deaf and ASL signers are subject to miscommunications even with the most proficient interpreters. Therefore, in court proceedings they are highly vulnerable to miscommunication and thus many have been unjustly convicted. The new law is seen as a victory for the deaf. There are numerous interpreters qualified to interpret in court, however, with the new law at hand, they too will have to obtain the LC certification by 9/1/06 in order to continue to offer services in legal arenas.


Please Note: Concerning the new law requiring Legal Certified interpreters in court proceedings, it is imperative to schedule LC interpreters as early as possible in order to obtain local LC interpreters at a reduced rate, as compared to obtaining an interpreter from another city, with accompanying travel expenses, etc. It would be wise to bring this information to the attention of the administrative staff in order to lessen confusion when accommodating the deaf in court proceedings concerning ADA requirements. Last minute scheduling is subject to additional fees.


Please do not hesitate to contact our office concerning any clarification, questions, or additional information concerning the court's legal responsibilities via ADA and the deaf community.

 


Sign of the Times

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