senate Bill S5712

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the licensing of sign language interpreters and creates a state board for sign language interpreting

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to higher education
Jun 06, 2013 referred to higher education

S5712 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 167 ยงยง8800 - 8805, Ed L

S5712 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the licensing of sign language interpreters and creates a state board for sign language interpreting.

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BILL NUMBER:S5712

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of sign language interpreters and creating a state board for
sign language interpreting

PURPOSE: Protection of NYS Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers from
unqualified, inexperienced or undertrained sign language interpreters
who may inadequately translate spoken or signed information as well as
non-adherence to sign language interpreting standards and protocols;
including a professional code of conduct.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The Education Law is amended by adding a new
article 167 Section 8801 Definition, 8802 Practice of sign language
interpretation, 8803 State board for sign language interpretation 8804
Licensing requirements and 8805 Exempt persons.

JUSTIFICATION: Protection of NYS Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers
from unqualified, inexperienced or undertrained sign language
interpreters who may inadequately translate spoken or signed
information as well as non-adherence to sign language interpreting
standards and protocols; including a professional code of conduct. Is
important not only of the Hard of Hearing community but also for NYS
businesses, governmental entities and non-profit agencies such as
medical providers, legal services, social services, financial
institutions, and schools.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None noted.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred and
twentieth day after it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5712

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 6, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the licensing of  sign
  language  interpreters  and  creating  a state board for sign language
  interpreting

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 167 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 167
                       SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS
SECTION 8800. INTRODUCTION.
        8801. DEFINITIONS.
        8802. PRACTICE OF SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING.
        8803. STATE BOARD FOR SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING.
        8804. LICENSING REQUIREMENTS.
        8805. EXEMPT PERSONS.
  S  8800.  INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF SIGN
LANGUAGE  INTERPRETER.  THE  GENERAL  PROVISIONS  FOR  ALL   PROFESSIONS
CONTAINED  IN  ARTICLE  ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY OF THIS TITLE APPLY TO THIS
ARTICLE.
  S 8801. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE:
  (1) "CLIENT" MEANS A DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING PERSON FOR WHOM AN INTER-
PRETER PROVIDES SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION SERVICES.
  (2) "BOARD" MEANS THE BOARD FOR SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING.
  S 8802. PRACTICE OF SIGN LANGUAGE  INTERPRETING.  (1)  ONLY  A  PERSON
LICENSED  OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE SIGN
LANGUAGE INTERPRETING OR USE THE TITLE OF SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER.
  (2) NO PERSON MAY, FOR COMPENSATION, PROVIDE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETA-
TION SERVICES FOR A CLIENT UNLESS THE PERSON IS LICENSED BY THE  DEPART-
MENT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11398-01-3

S. 5712                             2

  S  8803. STATE BOARD FOR SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING. (1) A STATE BOARD
FOR SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  BY  THE  BOARD  OF
REGENTS ON RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSIST-
ING  THE  BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF PROFESSIONAL
LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION SIXTY-FIVE
HUNDRED  EIGHT  OF  THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF NOT LESS THAN
SEVEN MEMBERS WHO SHALL SERVE THREE YEAR TERMS, ONE OF WHOM SHALL BE THE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PROFESSIONS OR  A  DESIGNEE  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER  AND  THE FOLLOWING SEVEN MEMBERS WHO SHALL BE NOMINATED BY
THE GOVERNOR AND APPOINTED WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY:
  (A)  THREE  DEAF  OR  HARD OF HEARING INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CURRENTLY OR
HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN CLIENTS OF A SIGN LANGUAGE  INTERPRETER,  AT  LEAST
ONE  OF  WHOM  IS A GRADUATE OF A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND AT
LEAST ONE OF WHOM IS A GRADUATE OF A PRIVATE OR PUBLIC  SCHOOL  THAT  IS
NOT A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF;
  (B)  TWO  SIGN  LANGUAGE  INTERPRETERS  WHO  HAVE  BEEN LICENSED UNDER
SECTION EIGHTY-EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE, AT LEAST ONE OF  WHOM
HOLDS A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE; AND
  (C) ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE EMPIRE STATE ASSOCIATION FOR
THE DEAF.
  (2)  THE  BOARD SHALL MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT REGARDING
THE PROMULGATION OF RULES ESTABLISHING A CODE OF ETHICS THAT GOVERNS THE
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS LICENSED  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE  AND  SHALL PROMULGATE RULES ESTABLISHING A PROCESS AND CRITERIA
FOR GRANTING LICENSING EXEMPTIONS  UNDER  SECTION  EIGHTY-EIGHT  HUNDRED
FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S  8804.  LICENSING  REQUIREMENTS.  TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A SIGN
LANGUAGE INTERPRETER, AN APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING  REQUIRE-
MENTS:
  (1)  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSES.  (A) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL GRANT A PROFES-
SIONAL LICENSE AS A SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER TO AN APPLICANT  WHO:  (I)
SUBMITS AN APPLICATION ON A FORM PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II)  PAYS  A  FEE  OF ONE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION  AND  FOR  AN  INITIAL
LICENSE,  A  FEE OF SEVENTY DOLLARS FOR EACH REEXAMINATION, A FEE OF ONE
HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE FOR PERSONS NOT REQUIRING
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION,  AND  A  FEE  OF  ONE
HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH FIVE YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD;
  (III)  POSSESSES  A  VALID  CERTIFICATION  GRANTED  BY THE REGISTRY OF
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR, OR ANY VALID  CERTIF-
ICATION GRANTED BY ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION THAT THE DEPARTMENT DETERMINES
IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT TO A CERTIFICATION GRANTED BY THE REGISTRY
OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC.
  (B) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL  GRANT  A  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSE  AS  A  SIGN
LANGUAGE  INTERPRETER TO AN APPLICANT WHO: (I) SUBMITS AN APPLICATION ON
A FORM PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II) PAYS A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT  FOR
ADMISSION  TO  A  DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION  AND FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE, A FEE OF SEVENTY DOLLARS FOR EACH REEXAMINATION, A FEE  OF  ONE
HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE FOR PERSONS NOT REQUIRING
ADMISSION  TO  A  DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION,  AND  A FEE OF ONE
HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH FIVE YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD;
  (III) POSSESSES A VALID  CERTIFICATION  GRANTED  BY  THE  REGISTRY  OF
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR; AND

S. 5712                             3

  (IV)  PROVIDES  SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF A DIAGNOSIS
BY A PHYSICIAN THAT THE APPLICANT IS DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING.
  (C)  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  GRANT  A  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSE AS A SIGN
LANGUAGE INTERPRETER TO AN OUT-OF-STATE APPLICANT WHO:   (I) SUBMITS  AN
APPLICATION ON A FORM PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II)  PAYS  A  FEE  OF ONE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION  AND  FOR  AN  INITIAL
LICENSE,  A  FEE OF SEVENTY DOLLARS FOR EACH REEXAMINATION, A FEE OF ONE
HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE FOR PERSONS NOT REQUIRING
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION,  AND  A  FEE  OF  ONE
HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH FIVE YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD; AND
  (III)  WITHIN  TWENTY-FOUR  MONTHS AFTER ESTABLISHING RESIDENCY IN THE
STATE, PROVIDES EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE  APPLI-
CANT  POSSESSES  A VALID CERTIFICATION GRANTED BY THE REGISTRY OF INTER-
PRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR, OR ANY VALID CERTIFICATION
GRANTED BY ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION  THAT  THE  DEPARTMENT  DETERMINES  IS
SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO A CERTIFICATION GRANTED BY THE REGISTRY OF
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC.,  OR  THEIR  SUCCESSORS,  AND  THAT  THE
APPLICANT  POSSESSED  THE CERTIFICATION AT THE TIME THE APPLICANT ESTAB-
LISHED RESIDENCY IN THIS STATE.
  (2) PROVISIONAL LICENSES. (A) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL GRANT A PROVISIONAL
LICENSE AS A SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER TO AN APPLICANT WHO: (I)  SUBMITS
AN APPLICATION ON A FORM PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II)  PAYS  A  FEE  OF ONE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION  AND  FOR  AN  INITIAL
LICENSE,  A  FEE OF SEVENTY DOLLARS FOR EACH REEXAMINATION, A FEE OF ONE
HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE FOR PERSONS NOT REQUIRING
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION,  AND  A  FEE  OF  ONE
HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TWO YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD;
  (III)  SUBMITS EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE APPLI-
CANT HAS PASSED THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION ADMINISTERED BY THE REGISTRY  OF
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR; AND
  (IV) IS AN ASSOCIATE OR STUDENT MEMBER OF THE REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS
FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR.
  (B)  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  GRANT  A  PROVISIONAL  LICENSE  AS A SIGN
LANGUAGE INTERPRETER TO AN APPLICANT WHO: (I) SUBMITS AN APPLICATION  ON
A FORM PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II)  PAYS  A  FEE  OF ONE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION  AND  FOR  AN  INITIAL
LICENSE,  A  FEE OF SEVENTY DOLLARS FOR EACH REEXAMINATION, A FEE OF ONE
HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE FOR PERSONS NOT REQUIRING
ADMISSION TO A DEPARTMENT  CONDUCTED  EXAMINATION,  AND  A  FEE  OF  ONE
HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TWO YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD;
  (III)  SUBMITS EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE APPLI-
CANT HAS COMPLETED EIGHT HOURS OF TRAINING SPONSORED BY THE REGISTRY  OF
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR, ON THE ROLE AND FUNC-
TION OF DEAF INTERPRETERS;
  (IV)  SUBMITS  EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE APPLI-
CANT HAS COMPLETED EIGHT HOURS OF TRAINING SPONSORED BY THE REGISTRY  OF
INTERPRETERS  FOR  THE  DEAF,  INC.,  OR  ITS SUCCESSOR, ON PROFESSIONAL
ETHICS;
  (V) HAS OBTAINED LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FROM AT LEAST  THREE  INDI-
VIDUALS WHO HAVE HELD NATIONAL CERTIFICATION FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS AND
WHO ARE MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING OF THE REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE
DEAF,  INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR, IF THE LETTERS TOGETHER DOCUMENT THAT THE
APPLICANT HAS COMPLETED AT LEAST FORTY HOURS OF MENTORING, INCLUDING  AT

S. 5712                             4

LEAST  TWENTY  HOURS  OBSERVING PROFESSIONAL WORK AND AT LEAST TEN HOURS
OBSERVING CERTIFIED DEAF INTERPRETERS;
  (VI)  HAS  COMPLETED  AT  LEAST  FORTY HOURS OF TRAINING CONSISTING OF
WORKSHOPS SPONSORED BY THE REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF,  INC.,
OR ITS SUCCESSOR;
  (VII)  IS AN ASSOCIATE OR STUDENT MEMBER OF THE REGISTRY OF INTERPRET-
ERS FOR THE DEAF, INC., OR ITS SUCCESSOR; AND
  (VIII) POSSESSES A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR AN EQUIVALENCY DEGREE.
  (C) A PROVISIONAL LICENSE GRANTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OR (B)  OF
THIS  SUBDIVISION  MAY  BE  RENEWED  A MAXIMUM OF TWO TIMES.  A LICENSEE
SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT  IN  WRITING  WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  IF  SUCH
LICENSEE'S  CERTIFICATION  OR  MEMBERSHIP  REQUIREMENTS  ARE  REVOKED OR
INVALIDATED, UPON WHICH THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  REVOKE  ANY  PROVISIONAL
LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OR (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S  8805.  EXEMPT  PERSONS.  (1)  THE  DEPARTMENT MAY GRANT A TEMPORARY
EXEMPTION TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS NOT A RESIDENT OF  THIS  STATE  FOR  A
PERIOD  NOT  TO EXCEED TWENTY DAYS IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS CERTIFIED BY THE
REGISTRY OF INTERPRETERS FOR THE  DEAF,  INC.,  OR  ITS  SUCCESSOR.  THE
DEPARTMENT   MAY  NOT  GRANT  AN  INDIVIDUAL  MORE  THAN  TWO  TEMPORARY
EXEMPTIONS PER YEAR PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (2) THE DEPARTMENT MAY GRANT A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT EXEMPTION TO  AN
INDIVIDUAL WHO IS A RESIDENT OF THIS STATE FOR A PERIOD SPECIFIED BY THE
DEPARTMENT.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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