Judge Decries Interpreter Shortage
Posted Aug 10, 2007 9:35 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A New York state judge is trying to shine a light on what he calls a “disturbing lack” of courtroom sign-language interpreters for the deaf.
Judge Charles Markey of Queens said employment opportunities are exploding for sign language interpreters, and courts paying $250 a day are not matching rates in the private sector, the New York Times reports. The result is a courtroom interpreter shortage. He quoted a Nebraska study that found that state’s courts were unable to fill 65 percent of assignments for such interpreters.
Markey wrote about the problem in a 13-page memorandum justifying his decision to pay a sign language interpreter twice the daily rate because there was no one available to relieve him during a recent trial.