WSR 10-19-134

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

[ Filed September 22, 2010, 8:46 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Formally establishing standards for sign language interpreters to interpret in legal proceedings.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 2.42 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: RCW 2.42.130 states that the office of the deaf and hard of hearing (ODHH) shall maintain a list of sign language interpreters for use in legal proceedings. RCW 2.42.170 clarifies that fees for those interpreters shall be in accordance with standards established by ODHH. With these standards clarified as a rule, courts will have more consistent, higher quality sign language interpreting services by interpreters who have met minimum requirements.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The administrative office of the courts (AOC), in collaboration with the board for judicial administration and the court interpreter commission, establishes statewide policies and procedures for interpreter services in Washington courts. ODHH has worked closely with AOC on developing the standards for sign language interpreters and continues to partner with AOC staff in refining both the standards and WAC language.

Process for Developing New Rule: DSHS welcomes the public to take part in developing the rules. Anyone interested should contact the staff person identified below. At a later date, DSHS will file a proposal with the office of the code reviser with a notice of proposed rule making. A copy of the proposal will be posted on the ODHH web site (http://odhh.dshs.wa.gov), shared with stakeholders, and sent to anyone who requests a copy.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Emily Hill, Sign Language Interpreter Management, Program Manager, Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, P.O. Box 45301, Olympia, WA 98504-5301, phone (360) 902-0271, fax (360) 902-0855, TTY (360) 902-0271, e-mail emily.hill@dshs.wa.gov.

September 22, 2010

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office