This Act provides a registration system for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. At the present time, individuals and organizations who are not certified to provide interpreting services are presenting themselves as acceptable/qualified interpreters without consequence. This is extremely problematic for all consumers utilizing interpreter services. It harms the interests of people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind by depriving them of the right to meaningful access and involvement in legal or medical settings, as well as other activities in the community. It also harms the interests of people who are not Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf-Blind by denying them access to effective communication with people who use ASL by providing a lesser quality service than what they believe they are purchasing. A State registration system will help ensure that only qualified individuals provide this vital and necessary service.
This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because ยง 11 of Article VIII of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to impose a fee.