:: Gleason pushes bill to make sure hearing-impaired get what they … – MLive.com ::

Gleason pushes bill to make sure hearing-impaired get what they …

Gleason pushes bill to make sure hearing-impaired get what they
MLive.com, MI 
A fisted right hand, palm facing out, is held up near the forehead, eyebrows raised, when suddenly the index finger shoots up and the fist loosens slightly.

In other words, “Understand?”

A lot goes into a single word using American Sign Language. Now, state lawmakers are trying to make sure interpreters get it right.

A two-bill proposal would require interpreters provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act have either state or national certification.

The issue is especially hard-hitting here: Genesee County has the highest concentration in Michigan of hearing-impaired residents who use sign language.

“There needs to be some sort of way to monitor the quality of interpreter working. Anybody can say they’re an interpreter,” said Nancy McKenzie, deputy director of community programs for the Communication Action Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Flint.

The legislation is being fast tracked and is expected to become law within weeks. A Senate hearing on the bill introduced by Sen. John J. Gleason, D-Flushing, is scheduled for Tuesday in Lansing.

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