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Deaf Californians should not get lost in translation of their legislature in action

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 14, 2013

I respectfully understand that this awesome blog devotes to critical articles mostly of local matters, but does expand on issues of statewide and national politics.

Just moments ago, I sent a “Letter to the Editor” via e-mail to the Sacramento Bee that should be on blog format just in case my letter does not make it to the print edition, because the issue of access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is very important to my heart:

Assembly Speaker John Perez recently penned an article in the Sacramento Bee entitled “Patient safety must not get lost in translation”.  It pretty much sums up about AB 1263 that would provide more translators at hospitals. 

However, Speaker Perez should look no further with regards to the lack of ASL Interpreter services in the Assembly chamber he presides.

In 2001, then-Assemblyman Robert Pacheco introduced AB 772 that would have required legislative hearings to be closed captioned, but the bill died in committee year later.

In 2005, then-Assemblyman Bob Huff introduced AB 181 that would have required legislative floor sessions to be captioned, but the bill died in committee year later as well.

How much longer will Deaf Californians have to cope and wait?

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing should not lost in translation and access to their own legislature due to the lack of an ASL Interpreter and Close Captioning services during committee hearings and floor sessions.

We surely hope that Speaker Perez understands that the legislature works for everyone including all of Deaf Californians.

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