Sign Language 'Gibberish' Prompts Bill on Hurricane Briefings - NBC 6 South Florida
Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

Sign Language 'Gibberish' Prompts Bill on Hurricane Briefings

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    88723
    2
    Germany
    94417
    3
    Canada
    55616
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Interpreter for the Deaf Signs Gibberish at Irma Press Conference

    The deaf community is demanding an apology after officials in Florida used an interpreter for the deaf who did not know what he was doing. The interpreter started signing words like "pizza, monster and bear" during an evacuation order for Hurricane Irma. (Published Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017)

    What to Know

    • A sign language interpreter signed gibberish during a televised briefing in Manatee County, including pizza and bear warnings.

    • Interpreters would have to be certified by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the Florida group.

    A warning about pizza and a big bear as Hurricane Irma approached Florida is prompting a bill addressing how the state communicates with hearing impaired residents during weather emergencies.

    The House unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would require the officials to include a qualified sign language interpreter at televised hurricane briefings.

    Democratic Rep. Richard Stark said his bill was inspired in part by news accounts of a sign language interpreter who signed gibberish during a televised briefing in Manatee County, including the pizza and bear warnings.

    Stark said while he first chuckled at the news account, for hearing impaired residents "this is anything but funny."

    Interpreters would have to be certified by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

    Get the latest from NBC 6 anywhere, anytime