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Deaf Lives don't Matter? Inept ASL interpreter

Many Deaf and Hard of Hearing people of Manatee County Florida were confused when their County used a departmental employee without any sort of certification as an ASL interpreter. He failed to interpret much of what was being said and many found his signing to be "gibberish".


September 9, 2017



:O I'm sad that this is not the first time I've been aware of something like this happening. This is literally a life or death situation for some people!


Agreed! This is not good news, and I think people really should learn ASL the correct way. I really want to learn it myself, and when people are going to be like this....... It makes me all the more want to learn it properly and help others!


Oh my gosh, that is pure awful. That is just completely horrible. Like Usagiboy7 said, this is literally a life or death situation for some people.

I simply cannot express how disgusted I am with that inept translator and how awful this is.


According to the video comments, he was basically thrown in over his head because he has a deaf brother and was coerced into it by the county just based on that fact. It's the county's fault, not his.


He should have refused. Having a Deaf brother, he should have known how important the task would be. He also must have been aware that his signing skills were lacking.

Yes, the county was at fault, but he also must share some of the blame.


Looking in the comments, I think he did try but he was basically coerced into doing it.


As I said before, he should have said no. Besides, the County already had a contract with an interpreting company. The owner of the company was waiting for the officials to call her to start work interpreting for the announcements. She said she was watching TV when this person appeared and started interpreting. She called the County immediately and the official she spoke with decided they didn't need to have announcements interpreted for the rest of hurricane.


Thanks for pointing this out. I can't believe they wouldn't vet someone for this!


Reminds me of our government's incompetence when they decided to hire a buddy, instead of a professional, to be the interpreter at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service in South Africa:


Jimmy Kimmel's take on this: https://youtu.be/X-DxGoIVUWo


So many can understand the gravity and seriousness of this failure, I'll post a video of this interpreter and his signing captioned into English from ASL. Let me ask this, would you like to get life and death information in such fashion?



That's so horrible! I saw the Daily Moth on Facebook post about this (here) with some information about the interpreter but wasn't able to see the original video. Now that I have, I am disgusted that someone would do that. :(

Edit: Here's an update on the whole thing from the Daily Moth (transcript is in the first comment)


Thanks for the response! I am still surprised there hasn't been any coverage of this by the media.

I hope there is an investigation into the matter. The Deaf Community shouldn't be treated as an after-thought.


That makes me so disappointed! Everyone deserves to understand things around them! That's crazy that they could not get a sufficient translator. That should be one of the main priorities. I hope this makes this issue highlighted so that it does not happen again. :(


He may not be registered with the RID, the Registry Of Interpreters for the Deaf. They would require him to have more schooling and take continuing education classes to keep his certification. I am not a member, nor do I have a degree in interpreting, but I can use my ASL certificate and teach it, as I am not teaching it towards a degree, nor am I using it in a formal setting.


How often does this happen?

[deactivated user]

    My country had this fellow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpPvGP_GUXs

    Ah I see Riekman posted it too :)

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