Date: 02/25/2009

BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1090


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Refer House Bill 09-1090 to the Committee of the WPASS

01:50 PM -- House Bill 09-1090

Senator Williams, bill sponsor, explained the provisions of House Bill 09-1090. She explained that the bill concerns who may be certified as a deaf interpreter. The bill also makes it a deceptive trade practice to claim to be an interpreter for the deaf unless a person holds a current certification of competence from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

01:59 PM

Senator Lundberg asked about the prohibition that an individual cannot be an interpreter without a certification. He asked if this prohibition is for people who have businesses, but not for people who do it on a volunteer basis. Senator Williams explained that this bill is not for individuals who volunteer or are in a nonprofessional situation.

02:03 PM --
Carrie Ann Lucas, representing the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, spoke in support of the bill. She provided the committee with an attachment (Attachment A). She indicated that she is an attorney who specializes in deaf issues. Ms. Lucas discussed the problem of unqualified interpreters in professional settings, such as a court room or a medical consultation. She noted that in many situations these unqualified interpreters are hired and paid for by state agencies, but the deaf individuals are not getting effective communication which is a waste of resources. According to Ms. Lucas, this bill would give consumers and businesses recourse if unqualified interpreters were used.


02:07 PM --
Danelle Jansen, representing the Colorado Association of the Deaf, spoke in support of the bill. She noted that she has been working for some time to ensure that quality interpreters are available for the deaf. She explained that in previous years her organization has tried to obtain licensure for deaf interpreters. Ms. Jansen explained that they were able to achieve regulation for interpreters in education and legal situations, but not for the general population. She stated that they are talking about professional interpreters and not people who serve in a volunteer capacity. She also noted that non-certified interpreters may still practice, but these interpreters must be transparent about the fact that they are not certified.

02:12 PM

Senator King asked if regulation is necessary since the certification already exists on a voluntary basis. Ms. Jansen stated that the incentive does not exist to get certified in Colorado because it is not necessary and many people who need to hire interpreters do not know to ask for certified interpreters. Senator King asked about how many people are certified in Colorado. Senator Carroll asked about licensure and whether or not this has been reconsidered recently. Ms. Jansen indicated that DORA has advised them to use the deceptive trade practice route rather than licensure because they have not met the burden of proof for causing harm which is necessary to justify licensure.

02:20 PM --
Kim Parra, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She related her personal experiences with deaf interpreters. She explained the difficulties that she had with her interpreter during her educational experiences.

02:23 PM --
Ami Garry, representing DOVE: Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Women and Children, spoke in support of the bill. She related experiences that she has seen through her organization. She expressed the need for regulation. Senator Carroll asked about other educational efforts for deaf people so that they know what to ask for with interpretation. Senator Renfroe asked about how to increase the pool of qualified interpreters.

02:30 PM --
Amie Seiberlich, representing the National Registry for the Interpreters for the Deaf, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed the need for qualified interpreters. She explained that deaf people do not hire their own interpreters, by law they are required by the entities doing business with the deaf person. She discussed the educational qualifications required for interpreters to become certified.

02:36 PM --
Maria Ruiz-Williams, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. She discussed her personal experiences with deaf members of her family and their experiences with deaf interpreters. She discussed her experiences with becoming a certified deaf interpreter.

02:43 PM --
Kirk Neuroth, representing the Colorado Association of the Deaf, spoke in support of the bill. He discussed the benefits of passing this legislation. He related his experiences as a deaf interpreter with medical clients.

02:48 PM --
Chris Lines, representing DORA, spoke about the bill. Senator Carroll asked why this issue does not rise to the level of public safety necessary to require licensure. Mr. Lines noted that the most recent sunrise review was completed this week and does look for title protection which is a part of the deceptive trade practice. Mr. Lines indicated that the bar for licensure is quite high.

02:55 PM

Senator Williams concluded her presentation of the bill. Senator King discussed his concerns with the bill, particularly on page 2, lines 16 through 18. Senator Williams likened the certification card to carrying a drivers license.
TIME: 02:57:36 PM
MOTION:Refer House Bill 09-1090 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a 7-0 roll call vote.
King K.
Carroll M.