New rules would raise bar for paid sign language interpreters
LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR
By ZACH PLUHACEK
October 24, 2015
She isn’t deaf, but Margie Propp says she’s more comfortable signing than speaking.
Her father, who lost his hearing at age 15, helped found the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a state advocacy group. Her mother, one of the commission’s first staffers, grew up deaf and came from a deaf family.
Propp’s older brother is deaf, too, and her other siblings use sign language to make a living.
But none of that automatically qualifies Propp to be a sign language interpreter, she said.
Professional interpreters must listen, understand and sign almost simultaneously, all while removing or reinserting extraneous words that would make signing nearly impossible but are necessary in a spoken conversation. They also require ethics training, vocabulary for special scenarios — even lessons on what clothes to wear so their hands are clearly visible.