Does a Government Agency Have to Provide an Interpretor for Foster Parent Training?
The answer will depend on whether the agency has a claim that the burden of providing an interpreter is too great. Under Title II of the ADA, all state and local governments are required to take steps to ensure that their communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. This requirement is referred to as “effective communication” and it is required except where a state or local government can show that providing effective communication would fundamentally alter the nature of the service or program in question or would result in an undue financial and administrative burden.
“Effective communication” means that whatever is written or spoken must be as clear and understandable to people with disabilities as it is for people who do not have disabilities. When an interpreter is requested by a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, the interpreter provided must be qualified.
A “qualified interpreter” is someone who is able to sign to the individual who is deaf what is being spoken by the hearing person and who can voice to the hearing person what is being signed by the person who is deaf. Certification is not required if the individual has the necessary skills. To be qualified, an interpreter must be able to convey communications effectively, accurately, and impartially, and use any necessary specialized vocabulary.
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