Friday Follies: Licensing Sign Language Interpreters


You probably didn’t know this, but South Carolina apparently has a problem with unlicensed sign language interpreters. That’s right – using sign language to interpret audible messages without a license. Fortunately, Sen. Katrina Shealy has introduced S. 548 to combat this problem.

This bill would license, regulate, and mandate requirements for sign language interpreters that work for any state agency, school district, hospital, etc. All sign language interpreters would be required to register with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, abide by legislatively mandated standards of competency and pay a fee for administering the additional regulation. Currently, in some extreme cases, whenever a deaf individual is part of legal proceedings, the interpreter must be approved by the South Carolina Association of the Deaf. If this legislation becomes law, however, the Sigh Language Interpreters Act would be the guide for approval.

By defining in detail how exactly a sign language interpreter must be educated and the competencies the interpreter must exhibit, the proposal will finally help rid the state of South Carolina of underqualified sign language interpreters.

Read more on the burdens of regulation by scrolling through our regulation tag.

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