In Tampa, Florida recently, police held a press conference to announce the arrest of a suspect in a series of murders that have terrified the community.
After police got an incredible lead from a MacDonald’s employee, they arrested the suspect and called a press conference.
And that’s exactly where everything went bad. Police officials somehow let a bogus sign language interpreter into the press conference.
“From what I understand, she knows enough about sign language that she was able to fake it. But it was not accurate and it was not clear,” Public Information Office Steve Hegarty told FOX 13.
Interpreter Derlyn Roberts, 53, has a prior fraud conviction. Her signs were gibberish
There are two things to consider here. The first is how someone that isn’t proficient in sign language made it on to the stage.
The second, and more important lesson is this. It’s much better to have no sign language interpreter than a fake one form the perspective of the hearing impaired. The closed caption option on the remote control might be a little hinky but it’s not gibberish- which is what the lady was signing.
“It’s confusing. It can be very dangerous. It can be very upsetting,” Chris Littlewood told FOX 13. He lost his hearing when he was in his 20’s. “If somebody were providing information and leaving pieces out of the information that’s needed to get across, that would be very problematic for anyone.” Prior to losing his hearing, Littlewood was an emergency dispatcher.