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Ellen Thielman signs with interpreter Kylia Kirkpatrick while she pets Benjamin III, a 9-month-old yellow Labrador puppy being trained as an assistance dog at the Northwest regional training center and headquarters of Canine Companions for Independence in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Thursday, June 23, 2016. Thielman is frustrated by the lack of adequate interpreter services during her two recent hospital stays at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento. None of her medical providers was fluent in sign language. Manny Crisostomo firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints, lawsuits about lack of interpreter help are common, deaf advocates say
Some scribble hand-written notes to communicate with doctors, nurses
Lip reading or writing notes in medical settings can be ‘frustrating and dehumanizing’
When you’re hospitalized or in pain, understanding a doctor’s diagnosis or a nurse’s instructions is hard enough. But when you’re deaf, it can feel like being shut out.
Ellen Thielman, a retired computer programmer, found that out twice this year. Deaf since infancy, the Sacramento resident has navigated the hearing world for years – graduating from college, raising two children and working more than 20 years for several California state government departments.
“I was furious, upset and a bit traumatized. I felt really alone,” said Thielman, who lives independently but needs a service dog to hear even her own doorbell.
Thielman wasn’t misdiagnosed, mistreated or given improper medications. Still, in two emergency room visits and subsequent hospital stays this year at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, she said she frequently felt isolated and unsure why she was getting certain injections or exactly what her medical status was. Both times, she said, it took three to four hours for a trained interpreter to arrive in the emergency room. Later, in the hospital, she was unable to schedule an interpreter to meet with her doctors.
The struggle to communicate with medical providers is a common complaint among the deaf and hard of hearing and has resulted in dozens of legal settlements nationwide in recent years. Since 2012, when the federal Department of Justice launched its Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, it has concluded investigations in about 36 cases – including several in California – involving lack of interpreter services.
An estimated 37 million U.S. adults have hearing trouble, ranging from partial loss to complete deafness, according to a 2006 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 31.5 million in 2000.
“We get complaints weekly, if not daily,” said Sheri A. Farinha, CEO of NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing in North Highlands, a nonprofit that represents individuals in 24 California counties.
The nonprofit, based in Silver Spring, Md., fields about 30 health care-related complaints a month from deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, Rosenblum said.
Hospitals and other medical providers “have no idea how frustrating and dehumanizing it is for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients when they are forced to, for example, write back and forth about their stroke symptoms, lip-read the doctor who is about to perform surgery on them, or be told by their family member (and not the doctor) that they had a heart attack and will be undergoing a cardiac catheterization and possible stent placement,” Rosenblum said.
The complaints come more than 25 years after enactment of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requiring public and commercial entities – including doctor’s offices and hospitals – to provide equal access and “effective communication” to those who have vision, speech or hearing impairment.
Thousands of Afghan Interpreters Wait for Visas as Congress Squabbles –via US News & World Report July 9, 2016Posted by Louis F. Provenzano Jr. in Interpreters, Language News, Uncategorized, World Affairs.
The 14-step visa application process includes multiple interviews, recommendation letters and a multitude of forms and documents. Getty Images/EyeEm
The Special Immigrant Visa program faces a severe backlog – and possible closure.
Local startup breaking down language barriers in health care –via Albuquerque Business First July 8, 2016Posted by Louis F. Provenzano Jr. in Language Access, Language Compliance, Language Industry, Language News, Over-the-phone Interpretation.
Logo for Valley Community Interpreters, a local startup
A mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires health care providers to provide translation services to patients with limited English language skills has proven to be an opportunity for one New Mexico business.
“We have a lot of human capital in this state when it comes to bilingual people,” said Cecilia Portal, director of Valley Community Interpreters. “The interpretive industry is recognizing this resource exists here.”
Valley Community Interpreters is a Las Cruces-based startup that trains locals in remote medical interpreting. The organization has a for-profit arm that trains health professionals in medical interpreting and a nonprofit arm that trains bilingual community members to be medical interpreters.
Portal said most health care providers are turning to remote interpreting services to fill the needs of their patients. In other words, providers have interpreters work over the phone, or through video calls, which means interpreters can be located anywhere in the country.
To read more of this article courtesy of Albuquerque Business First —> click here.
Delaware Court Sends Translation Firm Worth Nearly $1 Billion To Auction Block –via Forbes @transperfect June 24, 2016Posted by Louis F. Provenzano Jr. in #transperfect, Language News, Translation, Translation News, Transperfect.
One of the world’s leading translation firms is a step closer to being forced on the market. On Monday a Delaware court approved a plan to sell New York-based TransPerfect, which could be worth nearly $1 billion, in an auction open to outside bidders.
The decision follows a two-year legal battle between the company’s co-CEOs, Liz Elting and Phil Shawe, ex-fiancés who founded the firm in a dorm room 24 years ago. In August 2015, Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Andre Bouchard appointed a custodian to oversee the firm’s sale and serve as a third director, citing “irretrievable deadlocks” and “complete and utter dysfunction” between Elting and Shawe.
In Monday’s opinion, Bouchard gave the green light to the custodian’s plan to sell the company in a modified auction, which will allow bids from Elting and Shawe, who can seek outside partners, as well as from third parties. The custodian, Delaware attorney Robert Pincus, will have discretion over approving the bidders who can participate, selecting winners, implementing incentive plans for retaining key employees and nearly all other aspects of the auction.
To read more of this article courtesy of Forbes —>click here.
A Delaware judge has approved the sale of TransPerfect, a company at the center of an intense lobbying effort to change state law.
Andre Bouchard, chancellor with the Delaware Court of Chancery, ruled that selling the company through a modified auction was the best option because it will maximize TransPerfect’s value. He also held an auction would enable both of TransPerfect’s owners, along with interested third parties to compete for the business.
“Disallowing third-party bidders … would reduce competition in the sale of the company, contrary to the objective of maximizing stockholder value,” Bouchard wrote.
To read more of this article courtesy of Delaware Online —> click here
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Instagram is aiming to increase interaction with users across the globe through a new translation button it plans to roll out in the next month.
To read more of this article courtesy of AP News —>click here.
To read more of this article courtesy of the NY Times —> click here.
Elizabeth Elting and Philip Shawe (Photo by Steven Hirsch)
A battle between bickering ex-lovers who run the world’s biggest privately owned translation company could go all the way to the nation’s highest court, one of the parties told The Post.
TransPerfect Global Inc. co-founder Philip Shawe said he’ll go to the top court unless his fight with co-founder and ex-fiancée Liz Elting can be resolved.
The two are awaiting a Delaware judge’s ruling on how their company will be divided and sold. The same judge, in August, ordered them to sell off the 4,000-employee international company in order to keep their battle from destroying it altogether.
Shawe has accused Elting of spiking his ankle with her pointy pumps and throwing a pitcher of water at him in a conference room; she, in turn, has accused him of crashing her Jamaica wedding and hiding under her bed during a business trip to Brazil.
To read more of this article courtesy of the NY Post —>click here.
(Photo Jason Minto / The News Journal )
A nasty feud between two former college sweethearts could transform Delaware’s incorporation franchise, which generates more than $1.3 billion in state revenue.
The debate centers around the Delaware Court of Chancery’s authority to order the sale of an independent company incorporated in the state. Opponents contend such power is anti-business and could drive companies to incorporate in other states competing with Delaware, including Nevada or Rhode Island.
To read more of this article courtesy of Delaware Online —> click here
Interpreter industry pioneer passes away June 16, 2016Posted by Louis F. Provenzano Jr. in Bill Graeper, Certified Languages International, Interpretation, OPI.
My deepest condolences to the Graeper family. I have known Bill, his family, and the wonderful people at Certified Languages International for many years. I truly appreciate what he did for all of us. I admire his convictions, his passions, but most importantly, his love for his family.
Our industry owes tons of thanks to Bill who made me laugh, grow as a person, and who will never be forgotten.
We have all lost a great, honest and loving man.
I will miss you Bill.
With loving respect,