ASL interpreters?

Does anyone have a relationship with a state certified ASL interpreter ?

We’ve been asked if we can provide interpreters for classes (which we’re, I believe, obligated to do) and I’m wondering if anyone has a connection with someone who might be able to help us out when we get requests like this (or knows a provider we should talk to about this).

It would be very nice for us to provide a sign language interpreter for classes but I’m pretty certain we are under no obligation to do so. However, if we can do it as an undue burden (say via a volunteer) then we should certainly do it.

Hmm. I’ll have to seek some guidance. My reading so far suggests that we’re providing a public accommodation and so may be required to provide it, but I’ll get some expert advice on it.

EDIT: We’re definitely required to provide reasonable accommodation. Whether or not that means interpreting would depend on both sides definition of reasonable.

Either way. We want to accommodate whenever and wherever we can, so my question still stands. If someone knows a qualified interpreter who’d be interested in volunteering to interpret in exchange for membership, let me know. We haven’t had a formal request for accommodation, just doing my job and looking after all of our options.

LCC is right down the street and has one of the premier ASL programs in the country. People fight to get into the program. I’m sure someone there would be willing to help.

Good point! I’ll see if we can find someone with a contact over there.

Jillian Winn might know some people.

I have three interpreter collegues I’ve worked with several times through the theatre community. I’ll check with them and see if they are available/interested in helping us out or know people who are since they’re based in Flint and it would be a bit of a drive for them.

Also- yes, under the American’s with Disabilities Act, expecting not for profit organizations to provide interpreters for publicly offered classes definitely falls under how the courts have defined reasonable accommodations for the Deaf community in the past.

1 Like

An alternative is also speech-to-text software on a computer or via a purpose built system either of which can often be a much better option if they can capture a transcript and/or record the sound for later cleanup if required. There are also human manned remote services that will provide live transcriptions.

Should we want to provide appropriate accommodations, yes. Where is our undue burden line should the courts determine the ADA law does apply to LMN is a separate question. If it’s a volunteer ASL interpreter, life is good, no undue burden. If it’s $900 where a 10 student class netted LMN $80 after materials and other costs, that’s almost certainly an undue burden as would be providing some kind of accommodation to allow a quadriplegic to take a blacksmithing class (to give a bigger picture example).