Florida Senate - 2012 SB 942 By Senator Wise 5-00482A-12 2012942__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to interpreters and transliterators; 3 creating s. 1002.362, F.S.; defining terms; requiring 4 that, under certain circumstances, a person who 5 provides interpreting or transliterating services 6 possess a credential issued under the act; providing a 7 temporary exception for a person who holds a 8 credential from another state; requiring that the 9 credentialing entity establish the Interpreters for 10 the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Board; providing 11 duties of the board; authorizing the credentialing 12 entity to seek injunctive relief for certain 13 violations; prohibiting the use of public funds to 14 employ interpreters or transliterators who do not hold 15 valid credentials; providing a temporary exemption for 16 persons practicing as interpreters or transliterators; 17 requiring that a person practicing as an interpreter 18 or transliterator on or after a specified date apply 19 for a credential; requiring that a person practicing 20 as an interpreter or transliterator on or after a 21 specified date hold a valid credential; providing an 22 effective date. 23 24 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 25 26 Section 1. Section 1002.362, Florida Statutes, is created 27 to read: 28 1002.362 Credentialing of interpreters and 29 transliterators.— 30 (1) As used in this section, the term: 31 (a) “Credentialing entity” means an entity approved 32 pursuant to s. 402.40(3). 33 (b) “Deaf” means having a hearing impairment of such 34 severity that a person must depend on visual or tactile methods, 35 or both, to communicate. 36 (c) “Deaf-blind” means that the senses of hearing and sight 37 are limited for the purpose of communication. A person who is 38 deaf-blind uses primarily visual or tactile methods of 39 communication. 40 (d) “Hard of hearing” means having a hearing impairment 41 that results in a loss of hearing functions to a person and in 42 which the person relies on residual hearing that may be 43 sufficient to process linguistic information through audition 44 with or without amplification under favorable listening 45 conditions; depends on visual methods to communicate; depends on 46 assistive listening devices; or has an impairment with other 47 auditory disabling conditions. 48 (e) “Interpreter” means a person who provides accessible 49 and effective communication between persons who are deaf, hard 50 of hearing, or deaf-blind and persons who are hearing, 51 including, but not limited to, communication through American 52 Sign Language and English or other modalities that involve 53 visual, gestural, oral or aural, and tactile methods of 54 communication. 55 (f) “Sign language” means a continuum of visual-gestural 56 language and communication systems that employ signs made with 57 the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and 58 postures of the body. The term is not limited to American Sign 59 Language. 60 (g) “Transliterator” means a person who provides accessible 61 and effective communication between persons who are deaf, hard 62 of hearing, or deaf-blind and persons who hear, primarily using 63 sign language or other signed mode of English and spoken 64 English. 65 (2) Unless otherwise exempt as provided in subsection (4) 66 or subsection (8), a person who represents himself or herself as 67 an interpreter or transliterator or who provides interpreting or 68 transliterating services for remuneration or pro bono in 69 circumstances in which the services of a qualified interpreter 70 or transliterator are requested under the Americans with 71 Disabilities Act of 1990, s. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 72 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement 73 Act of 2004, or the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the 74 regulations adopted thereunder, or other applicable state or 75 federal law, must possess a credential issued under this section 76 to provide interpreting or transliterating services. 77 (3) A person who holds a credential to practice as an 78 interpreter or transliterator in another state may practice for 79 2 years after initial employment in this state without being 80 issued a credential under this section. 81 (4) The credentialing entity, in cooperation with the 82 Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., shall 83 establish the Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 84 Advisory Board. The board shall recommend to the credentialing 85 entity policies, procedures, and actions necessary to issue a 86 credential to interpreters and transliterators, consistent with 87 standards endorsed by the Florida Registry of Interpreters for 88 the Deaf, Inc., the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., 89 and the National Association of the Deaf. 90 (5) The credentialing entity may seek injunctive relief to 91 enjoin persons who are practicing as interpreters or 92 transliterators but who do not hold a valid credential issued 93 under this section or who are not exempt as provided in 94 subsection (3) or subsection (7). 95 (6) Public funds may not be used to employ interpreters or 96 transliterators who do not hold a valid credential issued under 97 this section. 98 (7) The following persons are exempt from the requirements 99 of this section: 100 (a) A person who provides interpreting services in 101 situations in which the delay in obtaining a credentialed 102 interpreter may result in immediate injury or economic burden. 103 (b) A student or intern practicing under the supervision of 104 an interpreter or transliterator who holds a valid credential. 105 (c) A noncredentialed person providing interpreting 106 services until a credentialed interpreter or transliterator is 107 secured in order to facilitate emergency services and care by a 108 hospital, pursuant to s. 395.1041, if a health care practitioner 109 determines that a delay in obtaining a credentialed interpreter 110 or transliterator may result in harm to a patient. 111 (8) A person practicing as an interpreter or transliterator 112 on or after July 1, 2012, must apply for a credential under this 113 section. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) or 114 subsection (7), a person practicing as an interpreter or 115 transliterator on or after July 1, 2014, must hold a valid 116 credential issued under this section. 117 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.