Your Questions About An Impaired Use Of Language

January 24, 2014

Laura asks…

I have some hearing loss, is it ok to request an interpreter for court?

I ask because the form to request one that Maryland provides asks what language you speak and from what country… there’s no option asking if you are deaf or hearing impaired. I have a trial coming up on a speeding ticket where I am requesting a waiver however I am nervous because of my hearing loss… Also if its ok for me to request one, do I have to pay for the interpreter?
Thank you!

admin answers:

The court has to follow ADA…Americans with Disabilities Act. They must provide an interpreter, ASL, or oral interpreter. If the deaf person does not use a signed language then can use a computer notetaker who types out what is said. Contact the courthouse that you are requesting an interpreter.

George asks…

How to listen to English and understand without subtitles?

I know grammar. I know how to pronounce words. And even write some text. However the only thing I can’t seem to understand is listening without subtitles. I understand a little bit but not everything. No matter what accent it is still a bit hard for me to understand the whole sentence. I want to understand without subtitles because it gives me a feel of victory to understand it correctly. English isn’t my native language. So do you have any tips?

admin answers:

This may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to improve your spoken english understanding is listening WITH subtitles…in English. Most DVD’s / BD’s have English for Hearing Impaired subtitles. They can be a little annoying as they will include descriptions of sound, but they may help you connect spoken words with english texts.

Linda asks…

Are you required to hire an interpreter for a hearing impaired employee in Arkansas?

Is an employer required to hire a sign language interpreter for a hearing impaired employee in the state of Arkansas?

admin answers:

ADA requires ‘reasonable’ accommodations. Hiring additional people to do one job is not necessarily held to be a reasonable accommodation – particularly in a small company, this might be seen as placing an unreasonable burdon on the company.

A lawyer would have to determine whether the request for an interpreter met the test of ‘reasonableness’.

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