Deaf community highlights interpreting issues nationwide

NOW: Deaf community highlights interpreting issues nationwide


MISHAWAKA, Ind. — Customers inside Chicory Cafe in Mishawaka met to chat over po boys and ham sandwiches on Wednesday. 

Some told stories from the day. While one group raised awareness of an issue affecting deaf people nationwide. 

“We do notice that there tends to be a lack of interpreting needs being filled across the country,” said Jessie Adner, with Sorenson Community Interpreting Services. “So we’ve had interpreters come to us and ask if there’s anything we can do about that and so I’m here to make sure that the interpreting needs are met.”

Adner was in town Wednesday night to promote the interpreting resources of Utah-based Sorenson Community Interpreting Services. She said there isn’t a lack of interpreters. 

There are just more businesses not providing deaf people with interpreters, which is against the law. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, an establishment must provide a sign language interpreter upon request.

“Its more about making sure that the clients know how to request getting interpreters and sometimes they ask for the hearing folks and they are told no,” said Adner. 

A top priority for the National Association of the Deaf is strengthening partnerships with interpreters. Around one million people use American Sign Language. 

Officials want to restore the deaf community’s confidence in the sign language profession. 

“We’ve become really sick and tired of having to write notes back and forth it’s just so much easier when you can bring an interpreter in its a lot faster and we can use our own language,” said Adner. 

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