DHHCAN Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Gallaudet Alumni House
(Thanks to GUAA for their generous support of the DHHCAN meeting space.)
Meeting called to order at 12:12 PM.
Voting Members – quorum achieved
- Claude Stout, TDI
- Tayler Mayer, TDI
- Eric Kaika, TDI
- Zainab Alkebsi, NAD
- Lise Hamlin, HLAA
- Bernie Palmer, ALDA
- Marcia Zisman, GUAA
- Art Roehrig, AADB
- Ron Sutcliffe, DSA
- David Bahar, CSD
- Sean Maiwald, CSD
- Neal Tucker, RID
- Barbara Raimondo, CEASD
- Caroline Pezzarossi, ADARA
- Evon Black, NBDA
Miako Villanueva, CSD
Sandra Maloney, Vice President of RID’s Board of Directors
Martha Sheridan’s class students
Jimmy Baldon, Keystone Interpreting in Minnesota
- Jayne Tubergen Magneson
- Jan Nishimura
- Pat Richey
Approval of Minutes
- The minutes for the October 2017 meeting stands as read.
Special Session: Dialogue with RID and CASLI Officials – Short & Long Term Future for Our Interpreting Service Needs
Miako Villanueva, CASLI:
- CASLI stands for Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpreters
- RID has been responsible for testing and certifying interpreters but last summer, RID decided to set up a new LLC specifically tasked with testing while RID remains responsible for certification.
- This split is a new approach and we’re navigating how to think of testing and certification differently.
- Bernie asked what the reason was for the split. Sandra responded that there were many reasons but mainly financial. The current test is old and needs to be updated; there is no money for that. RID money goes to a lot of other things so with the split, it streamlines the allocation of funds.
- Bernie also asked if certification is a one time thing or an annual thing? Sandra responded that is where the split gets sticky as historically, they tested one time but certification is every four years (CEUs, CPC, etc). Miako added that CASLI can make different decisions with testing, e.g. hypothetically, they could say the test is valid for ten years and RID can decide what to do with that information.
- The LLC has one shareholder/owner, which is RID. Potentially, others could join but for now, RID is the sole shareholder/owner.
- Marcia asked who is Miako’s boss? Who does CASLI answer to? Miako responded that CASLI is owned by RID; her boss is RID and they answer to the President of RID. The goal is to have the freedom, independence, and authority to make decisions but it does go back to RID for final approval. Again, we could potentially have multi-shareholders and answer to other organizations. Miako’s understanding is that RID did ask other organizations to join but they chose not to at the time. Marcia inquired which organizations but RID declined to answer. Any organization can approach RID and CASLI going forward about joining.
- Claude asked if that is for only professional organization or if consumer groups can join too. Miako responded that this is new territory; they do not know what this will look like yet but are trying to be as open minded as possible as to what is best for everyone. Sandra added that when they first set up the LLC, that was the intention; they wanted diversity and they still cherish that. Claude suggested opening it up to consumer groups as interpreters and consumer work with (not for) each other. There have been a lot of changes – some for better, some for worse. We are not there yet. We are not getting jobs. Interpreters make and break us and consumers make and break interpreters.
- Marcia also asked how many employees are there in CASLI? Miako responded that it has two staff currently, both borrowed from RID (a testing director and a testing specialist).
- Our current responsibility is to administer the current test, develop a new test for hearing interpreters, and develop a new test for deaf interpreters. CASLI will give the score to RID, who will then determine certification.
- CASLI is also looking at best practices for test cycles in making sure future new tests are ready in advance of suspending too-old-to-use tests. The goal is not to have a moratorium again.
- Bernie asked if there are universal standards or is it left to the states? Miako responded that currently, there is no national certification requirement in the law. Many courts do require SC:L. Many states do require RID certification to interpret in that particular state. Other states have their own licensing requirements. Some states require BE¸I. There are different requirements for different states. The District of Columbia has no requirements but government agencies do require certification in their RFP process. Businesses can set up their own requirements. It is up to the hiring entity what they require for now.
- David asked if the LLC is a for-profit or non-profit? Miako responded that CASLI is a non-profit under RID’s non-profit status. They can eventually become for profit or independent non-profit.
- Art asked if RID and CASLI are working on updates on DeafBlind interpreters? Miako explained that part of the new testing development is to develop a new test for deaf interperters, not just hearing interpreters. Part of the goal is to set up the test as a self-sustaining and efficient test. The goal is to be able to use the same knowledge test for hearing interpreters and deaf interpreters but the performance test can be different. The performance test can utilize the same ASL video but the hearing interpreter voices it while the Deaf interpreter signs it. The tests are for minimum standards; they could set up smaller categories such as specialization for DeafBlind (including Pro-Tactile) and so forth.
- Caroline asked what are they doing to ensure reliability of the test and whether it is testing for what it is supposed to test? Miako responded that development of the test is based on Job Task Assessment subject matter experts and they are looking at training and re-training raters.
- Zainab asked what the next steps are and what are they doing to elicit input from the community? Miako responded that the next step is rater retraining, which is part of keeping the current test until the new test is ready. (At the same time, they do not want to spend too much money there; there needs to be a balance for the new test.) This includes an open call for raters – they will keep the current pool and set up a new pool of raters. They want to include interpreters of color, trilingual interpreters, deaf interpreters, et cetera. With the open call and specific recruitment, they want to be more diverse. They are also looking at adding diversity to the testing committee for test development. As for community involvement, they are open to any ideas for feedback and are trying to be as open as possible. For instance, they will reach out to consumer groups for nominations for subject matter experts. They want to keep the lines of communication open and do a better job with that. Their next vlog will be the testing director explaining roles and next steps.
Sandra Maloney, Vice President of RID Board:
- We are keeping the current test for hearing interpreters. The CDI test is still on hold. We are working on a solution on continuing to certify deaf interpreters until the new test is ready. We are working with a group of deaf interpreters and eliciting ideas from them. This weekend, the Board will work on the strategic plan, which includes deaf interpreters.
- As for ethics (CPC), it is important to have other stakeholders involved here. It needs to be effective for those affected by it so they need the community’s involvement. A task force has been set up to assess the system and the needs of the community. They are looking into how deaf consumers can better navigate the grievance process and they are happy to share feedback with the task force.
- As for the RID’s relationship with ASLTA and Interpreter Training Programs (ITPs), there is no MOU with ASLTA. Regarding ITPs, there is a gap for those who graduate from interpreting programs and obtaining certification. There are no hard numbers of the number of ITPs around the country. Old data reflects about 141 programs around the country but they know some on that list are now defunct.
- Eric asked if CASLI is the only test RID will accept? Sandra responded that, no, members (who pay dues) voted against the proposal to accept other tests such as BEI. They do not want to accept other tests, not knowing their test cycles. But the certification committee is working on criteria to present to members so that we can eventually accept other tests.
- Claude concluded the special session by thanking both Miako and Sandra , noting that both of their organizations will become more important in the future, particularly with regard to interpreting metrics for VRS, which may lead to raising rates. Consumers want metrics and we need to work with both organizations. How to measure interpreter quality in a qualitative way will be difficult as it is subjective.
- David added his thanks for coming to our meeting and sharing with us. He applauds what they are doing. We have seen before the lack of communication and information on what is happening with testing. Two weeks ago, there was an article in a Wisconsin newspaper regarding the impact on Wisconsin interpreters after the moratorium because Wisconsin only recognizes RID certification. 10-15 interpreters were stuck and could not work in the state so the state decided to recognize BEI and give them time to fly to Texas. They had to figure out something as there was no transition plan and no communication with the community for us to figure out what to do. We hope you continue outreach and this is a good start. We encourage more of this.
- Claude added that they should hire a new Executive Director and Sandra responded that is on the agenda. Claude noted that HLAA and NAD have good Executive Directors and it makes a difference with visual representation of the organization. It will help their progress.
Chair’s Report (Claude)
- Claude is still working with David on inviting Taylor Hahn, Claire Viall, and Megan Perez from the Hill to our December meeting to discuss employment issues and how to move forward with the cradle-to-grave document.
- Elections will take place at next month’s meeting for new DHHCAN officers. He hopes members have nominations ready for this afternoon. At the December meeting, we will vote. The new officers will be sworn in at the end of the December meeting and they will assume duties starting with the January meeting.
Vice Chair’s Report (Bernie)
- No formal report.
Secretary’s Report (Zainab)
- The minutes have been approved.
- Zainab will continue to post all approved 2017 meeting minutes thus far to the DHHCAN website.
- Zainab requests that members review draft minutes and share edits ahead of time if possible.
Treasurer’s Report (Sonny)
- No report as Sonny is out of the country at the moment.
- Civil Rights Protection and Enforcement (Zainab Alkebsi):
- As an update on H.R. 620, on which we have reported at previous meetings and would create significant obstacles to enforcing our rights under the ADA, the NAD is still awaiting the full floor vote. Please continue contacting your legislators!
- Education (Barbara Raimondo):
- Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidelines on special education and we are keeping an eye on that.
- As a reminder, our Education Advocacy Summit will take place February 27 and 28. On February 27, there will be a tour of Gallaudet in the morning then a presentation to Gallaudet faculty and students. On February 28, our regular Hill day will take place with a briefing in the morning then Congressional meetings in the afternoon.
- Also, we will be circulating details soon regarding our Call to Action day on November 15.
- The EHDI bill was signed into law two weeks ago. Some improvements and amendments were included, such as language regarding “oral and visual modalities,” “deaf consumer support” (meaning deaf mentors), and language acquisition assessments.
- Employment (David Bahar):
- We’ve been having meetings on the Hill regarding the 8a proposal. We met with Megan Perez and are hoping to have meetings on the Senate side as well.
- Regarding the new Disability Employment Policy working group and the Congressional Deaf Caucus not being part of it, nothing new to add there.
- Health Care (Lise Hamlin):
- Nothing to report.
- David added kudos on getting the OTC hearing aid bill passed. Lise acknowledged that it was a lot of work and a big deal. Next up will be the FDA regulations, hopefully in the next two years.
- Transportation (Zainab):
- The next meeting for the Cabin Announcements Task Force keeps getting rescheduled due to conflicts so nothing new to report yet. The next meeting is now scheduled for November 7.
- Telecommunications (Claude Stout):
- TDI, NAD, DHHCAN, and other consumer groups filed the following joint comments:
- On October 26, Consumer Groups filed joint comments responding to a FCC NPRM seeking comment on its proposal to streamline formal complaint procedures, including those for Disability Access Complaints. Our comments convey high-level support and add in the need for consumer education on the complaint process.
- On October 30, Consumer Groups filed joint comments on the MVPD user interface deadline issue. For background, in 2013, the FCC set two deadlines for MVPDs to come into compliance with the CVAA — December 2016 for large MVPDs and December 2018 for mid-sized and smaller MVPDs. In that order, the Commission said it would ask for comment before the December 2018 deadline to see if it should be extended. This public notice does just that. Our position is there is no reason the Commission should extend the deadline. 5 years is more than enough.
- Lise added that the HAC/Volume Control Order passed a 3-2 vote at the last Open Meeting.
- TDI, NAD, DHHCAN, and other consumer groups filed the following joint comments:
There were no reports for Housing due to absent chairs.
- Bernie asked about Consumer Groups’ letter to the Access Board. Claude explained that there has been no response.
- Zainab suggested adding the DHHCAN 25th Anniversary celebration planning to the December meeting agenda.
- Nominations for new Officers:
- Chair: Zainab (nominated by Neal, Bernie, and Tayler).
- Vice Chair: Bernie (nominated by Zainab as Bernie expressed an interest in continuing).
- Secretary: Zainab noted that she cannot act as both Chair and Secretary. No official nomination was made for Secretary at the time.
- Treasurer: Sonny (nominated by Zainab – Sonny was not present at the meeting but is new in the role and should be given an opportunity to continue).
- TDI Holiday Party will be December 14, 7-10 pm at the Washington Court Hotel (same venue as years past).
Next Meeting Date
- Wednesday, December 6 at Gallaudet Alumni House.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1:57 pm with thanks to Neal for coordinating lunch.
Zainab Alkebsi, Secretary