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Deaf Community Advocacy Network

2111 Orchard Lake Road, Suite #101 Sylvan Lake, MI 48320 (248) 332-3323 TTY (248) 332-3331 Voice (248) 332-7334 Fax (866) 939-3253 VP

April 7, 2011 Dear Michigan Interpreters, It was recently discussed at the Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) Advisory Committee Meeting that the State Interpreter Coordinator’s position has still not been filled. The State Interpreter Coordinator works with new Interpreters to obtain certification. This position is also responsible for processing the following in order to keep your certification current: • • •

Certification Renewals Testing Sponsorship Approval for BEI and RID CEU’s

DODHH and the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns were transferred to Michigan Rehabilitation Services in October, 2010. Governor Snyder recently ordered that DODHH be transferred yet again, to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. This department transfer will occur on April 25, 2011 but there is no guarantee that the position will be funded. Because of this transfer, neither department is willing to accept the responsibility for filling the State’s Interpreter Coordinator position. The Department’s failure to fill this position (since June, 2010) could put your certification (and mine) at risk because there is no one at DODHH to process the paperwork or conduct testing. DEAF C.A.N.! and other interpreting agencies are at serious risk if certifications cannot be renewed. We would be unable to lawfully provide Interpreting services to the community once all of our certifications lapse. For Nationally Certified Interpreters this will be June 30, 2011; for those of us with BEI’s or remaining QA’s, the end of this year’s cycle. DODHH was permitted to interview candidates and were told to go ahead with the hiring process. It seems they have now been instructed to place this on hold until the process of department transfer occurs. Initially DODHH was allowed to have a temporary employee to process all of the above; they now have no one. Please take this very seriously. DODHH has been doing everything conceivably possible to test and renew certifications with only two staff members. However with the influx of renewals, testing, etc., it is impossible for them to keep up with the flow. As a result, interpreters will not be able to work. The ramifications of not fulfilling this position will be detrimental to the Deaf Community and to the Interpreters. I urge you to contact both of the people below and stress to them the importance of filling the Interpreter Coordinator’s position, regardless of where the funding comes from. Copy your letter to Governor Snyder and your state Representatives/Senator. Please do this IMMEDIATELY!

Linking Deaf and Hard of Hearing People with Community Services

We cannot continue in limbo. This will jeopardize our community and set us back many years. The community will be without your services; and we will be without work. Potentially DEAF C.A.N.! will have to close. I do not write this letter lightly, nor without serious thought to the potential consequences. I thank you in advance for your support and commitment to the signing community. Sincerely yours,

Marcy Colton, MA, LPC, BEI 1 Director

Send correspondences to: Mr. Daniel Krichbaum, Director Michigan Department of Civil Rights Capital Tower Building 110 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 800 Lansing, MI 48933 Phone: (517) 241-6300 Fax: (517) 335-3882 TTY: (517) 335-3881 Ms. Jaye N. Porter, Bureau Director Executive Office 201 North Washington Square 4th Floor, P.O. Box 30010 Lansing, MI 48909 1-800-605-6722 (toll free) 1-888-605-6722 (toll free, TTY) Governor Rick Snyder P.O. Box 30013 Lansing, Michigan 48909 (517) 373-3400 (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services (517) 335-6863 fax Find your State Representative/Senator

Deaf CAN Letter 4-7-11