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ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018


Deaf community outraged over Hurricane Irma interpreter

17 September 2017, 12:23 | Erica Roy

Deaf community outraged over Hurricane Irma interpreter

People noticed the sign language interpreter was not a professional when he signed words such as a pizza bear and monster during the Mantee County Irma press conference

She told the station: 'It was horribly unnerving for me'.

They added he was not familiar with the language used by the officials. But because he has a deaf brother, either Greene - or some county official - believed that that was a strong enough credential to stick him next to a podium and task him with keeping the area's deaf community abreast of the devastating storm's movements, and what they should be doing to protect themselves.

A sign language interpreter is accused of being a phony after signing the words "pizza" and "monster" during a news conference to announce an emergency evacuation order during Hurricane Irma. She said she was horrified when she saw the broadcast.

"He can't be expected to communicate something he doesn't know", his father said.

Charlene McCarthy, the owner of VisCom, an interpreting service that the county usually uses, said she was not contacted about the press conference.

The press conference turned out to be an insult and a disaster, according to members of the deaf community. County leaders tell WFLA they learned a lesson after making a mistake.

"Everybody was talking about it on social media, everyone was shocked, asking leaders in the deaf community to do something about it", said Chris.


"It was obvious to me he wasn't a professional interpreter. I was totally shocked", Mr Wagner said.

We spoke with the interpreter's family Tuesday night.

A man who was called in last minute to provide sign-language interpretation for a Hurricane Irma update in Manatee County, Fla., caused outrage when he spoke gibberish during an emergency update.

Greene's family said he was simply asked to help out during a hard time.

Manatee County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

Greene's family stuck up for him in the midst of the criticism, saying, "He can't expect to communicate something he doesn't know".



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