May 22, 2018

Sign language interpreter accused of signing gibberish during Irma conference

17 September 2017, 12:23 | Opal Carroll

Marshall Greene wore a bright yellow shirt when professional interpreters usually wear blue or black so their hands stand out

Marshall Greene wore a bright yellow shirt when professional interpreters usually wear blue or black so their hands stand out

Officials in Manatee County, Florida, recruited local lifeguard Marshall Greene to sign during a September 8 news conference, during which they issued an emergency evacuation order, the Palm Beach Post reports via WFLA.

Although no storm-related deaths appeared to have been reported in the county, officials were still surveying how many structures had been damaged by the hurricane.

The county chose to not use an interpreter from VisCom, a professional sign language interpreting service, as it usually does.

Trained ASL interpreters always wear blue, black or a color where their hands will stand out. He was one of several people who, while seeing the event unfold, began to type what county officials were saying in the Facebook comments section so those who could not hear them could be informed.

"It was obvious to me he wasn't a professional interpreter".

This sign language interpreter was not one of them.

One video uploaded to YouTube placed captions to show what the man appeared to be signing during the briefing.

After failing to get an expert to communicate the evacuation and safety advice, they instead asked county employee Marshall Greene, who works as a lifeguard for the marine rescue unit and who has a deaf brother.

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"It was horribly unnerving for me", she explained.

The deaf community is demanding an apology from the county for the blunder, according to WFLA.

She was shocked when she saw the press conference on television. "I don't know why".

County leaders said they were "in a pinch" when looking for an interpreter.

So, now the question is - why wasn't someone called in who was a certified interpreter?

"I was really shocked when they called back and cancelled", McCarthy told BuzzFeed News.

She followed up: 'To Deaf residents of Manatee County.

The former president of the National Association of the Deaf knew right off the bat that something wasn't right.

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