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Editorial #110: Certified Interpreters or Not? Why are Non-Certified Interpreters Screaming at the FCC?

Something strange is happening.

There have been more comments than usual on the FCC comments page related to VRS. They have been coming from non-certified interpreters trying to protect their jobs with some VRS providers, Sorenson for one. (Link to FCC comments)

First of all, would you go to a doctor that is not licensed by your state and allow the non-licensed doctor to examine you and prescribe medicine for you?

This is why we have licensing and certification. While is is not 100% foolproof, it offers us a level of confidence that those professionals whom have at least been reviewed for their competency to work with us all.

Then the VRS providers review and evaluate the interpreters once again to be sure they can do the tough work that comes with VRS interpreting.

What about those non-certified interpreters? Some of them get training, some of them just graduated from school. They are evaluated by their respective VRS companies and placed to work if the VRS providers feel they can do the job.

One of the issues being brought up is national vs. state certification. Is one better than the other? Some states have better certification processes than the other, but with VRS we do not know in which state the VRS interpreter is working when we make such a call. This is why the FCC is asking questions about national certification for interpreters.

Why are non-certified interpreters allowed to do it; bypassing the certification process that is in place to insure we deaf and hard of hearing consumers have the protection and level of confidence in the profession of interpreting? It is like allowing non-licensed doctors to perform procedures.

Where does this leave us as deaf and heard of hearing consumers?

Dr. Z says we deserve the best, using certified interpreters. We should not be at the mercy of non-certified interpreters. We deserve the legal and professional protection offered as part of the certification process.

ZVRS goes on record–using only certified interpreters. You can call ZVRS 888-888-1116 to see for yourself as to how much of a difference a certified interpreter is.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development and Outreach.

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