On behalf of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community of Oklahoma, I urge our local Deaf community, and all our friends and family who love and support us, to please contact your state Representative to let them know you are *FOR* HB1512, the Educational Interpreter Bill that will be introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Sally Kern. Ask them to VOTE YES!
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
To find out who represents you in Oklahoma House of Representatives, CLICK HERE.
To find the email address of your Oklahoma representative, CLICK HERE.
Begin your email with “Dear Honorable Representative (THEIR FULL NAME)”.
EMAIL EXAMPLE (COPY AND PASTE):
Dear Honorable Representative (THEIR NAME),
My name is (YOUR NAME), and I am writing to you from (YOUR TOWN), Oklahoma. I (HAVE/KNOW) a Deaf/Hard of Hearing student(s), and HIS/HER education depends sign language interpreters having adequate certification appropriate to the content, materials, and interactions of the class experience in its entirety.
Historically, changes in recent decades to promote mainstreaming of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children into hearing classrooms was reportedly done to ensure them equal access to the full educational experience. However, our Deaf and Hard of Hearing children can only learn what is presented to them through interpreters, and interpreters with a gross lack of skills and/or inadequate qualifications cannot fully present content, materials, and interactions as provided to rest of the class who can hear. This leaves Deaf and Hard of Hearing children behind, creating a huge gap between what is presented to them and what is presented to to their hearing peers simultaneously. This is educational neglect, and a crisis in our state.
Currently, educational interpreters are certified at a much lower level than interpreters in every other environment, or in too many cases not certified at all. This abandons our Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, leaving them without full access to the educational experience. This denies our Deaf and Hard of Hearing children equal access to the full learning experience equivalent to their hearing peers. Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have the same right to education as their hearing peers legally, but cannot get access to this equal education right without appropriately certified educational interpreters and interpreter certification being enforced.
We urge you, on behalf of our Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, to VOTE YES to HB1512, the Educational Interpreter Bill. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter!
TOWN, Oklahoma, ZIP
When you contact your representative, feel free to adapt the letter as needed. But please, it is very important to remember:
- Be courteous and respectful.
- Be calm.
- Give facts, not emotions.
- Add and professional credentials or personal experiences you have related to the bill.
- Keep it less than one page.
- Use specific examples.
- Keep it simple. (Save research for presentation of bill.)
- DO NOT: Use vulgarity, profanity, or threats.
NOTE: 11 February 2015 Update: HB# changed to HB1512.