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Sunday, September 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Measure would start state licensing for sign-language interpreters

Holly Thomas-Mowery, left, translates the testimony of a woman, right, into sign language in front of the House Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. The committee went on to approve legislation that would create a state licensing process for sign language interpreters. (AP / Kimberlee Kruesi)
Holly Thomas-Mowery, left, translates the testimony of a woman, right, into sign language in front of the House Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. The committee went on to approve legislation that would create a state licensing process for sign language interpreters. (AP / Kimberlee Kruesi)

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A legislative panel is endorsing a bill to require Idaho sign language interpreters to get a professional license from a state board. Several Idaho residents who are hard of hearing told the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday about how unqualified interpreters have caused miscommunications in important legal and medical situations. Attempting or offering to interpret sign language without a license would be a misdemeanor under the bill. Republican Rep. Eric Redman asked whether children could interpret for their parents in an emergency room situation. Steven Snow from the Idaho Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing says the bill doesn't allow it because family members often can't communicate accurately under emotional stress. The plan would form a five-person board to determine the specific guidelines for certifying interpreters. The bill, HB 152, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Packer, R-McCammon, now moves to the full House.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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