Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
March 4, 2024
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for SB185 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Clarifying the authority of the Kansas commission for the deaf and hard of hearing with regard to registration of interpreters, establishing guidelines for communication access services and authorizing the adoption of rules and regulations.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 24, 2021

Chairperson Huebert asked for a motion to accept the minutes of March 17.  Representative Clark moved, Representative Thomas seconded, to accept the minutes of March 17, 2021 as written.  Motion carried. 

Chairperson Huebert opened the hearing on SB185.  Revisor Nick Myers gave an overview of the bill. (Attachment 1)

There was a brief discussion between the Representatives and Nick Myers.

Chriz Dally, Chair of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) shared how interpreters work in the community.  There are many different ways that interpreters work.  People who are deaf and hard of hearing have very different needs and preferences for interacting.  Dally stressed that KCDHH works as an advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing community to support full participation in the larger society.  For instance, during the pandemic, KCDHH advocated for deaf and hard of hearing community by encouraging the Governor's office and other to use an interpreter during press conferences.  She urged the Committee to support this legislation that clarifies the needs and access of these types of services, and the persons working as interpreters. (Attachment 2)  (Attachment 3)

Robert Cooper, Executive Director of the KCDHH, quickly laid out the shape and history of the Commission he directs.  He explained the complexities of the interpretation process, in terms of how to assure qualified interpreters.  The statute has not been updated in many years, and there was confusion over time.  There has been difficulties with Kansas Department of Children and Families in terms of making clear guidelines for interpreters.  The Attorney General gave an opinion that this legislation is based upon after last year's bill was stopped by Covid.  A centralized point of contact, KCDHH, is the most practical way to make sure all interpreters are safe, trained and approved.  (Attachment 4)  (Attachment 5)

Stacey Storme spoke from her long experience as an interpreter, and as an interpreter educator.  She was part of the development with this legislation, which will ensure a fair and equitable registration system for interpreters, to protect the rights of deaf and hard of hearing persons, while also providing fairness to the interpreters.  The work of interpreters is very complex.  Training goes beyond language only, and into skills of working in highly personal, confidential situations, public settings, and many other situations.  She explained how intimate the trust is between a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and an interpreter. (Attachment 6)

There was a short period of questions and answers with the conferees.

Written Proponents:

Kim Anderson, President, Kansas Association of the Deaf (Attachment 7)

Kim Bates, former Interpreter Coordinator, University of Kansas (Attachment 8)

Peter Boklund, Boklund Interpreting Services, Wichita (Attachment 9)

Fred Foshag, Citizen, Pittsburg  (Attachment 10)

Martha Gabehart, Executive Director, Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns  (Attachment 11)

Bonnie Goben, ASL Connections, deaf owned interpreting business in Olathe  (Attachment 12)

Leonard Hall, Attorney and Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing  (Attachment 13)

Chris Haulmark, deaf community leader, Olathe  (Attachment 14)

Kimberly Heintz, President, Kansas Association of Interpreters (Attachment 15)

Robin Olson, retired teacher of the deaf, Lenexa  (Attachment 16)

Susie Ternes, Executive Director, Kansas Speech Language Hearing Association  (Attachment 17)

Amanda Wittman, owner, Nexus Interpreting, Olathe  (Attachment 18)

Chairperson Huebert closed the hearing on SB185 and he called for Final Action. 

Representative Sanders moved, Representative Estes seconded, to recommend SB185 favorably for passage.  Motion carried.