Hurricane Irma Emergency Fake Interpreter

As Hurricane Irma was advancing on Florida, here is the message deaf residents of Manatee County received regarding a mandatory evacuation: “Help you at that time to use bear big.” Jason Hurdich, a Clemson University professor and expert in American Sign Language says he couldn’t understand 95% of what a deaf interpreter was signing during the Sept. 8 briefing from the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center. County officials tell WPTV they were “in a pinch” to find a qualified professional interpreter for the briefing, so they asked an employee – county lifeguard Marshall Greene, whose brother is deaf. But Hurdich says the results were “horrible and embarrassing.” Greene spent most of the briefing signing complete nonsense while using the signs for “monsters” and “pizza.” “Something went horribly wrong,” says Charlene McCarthy, whose company, VisCom, typically provides deaf interpreters to the county. Now the deaf community is seeking an apology from the county. As for Greene, his family says he was willing to step in and help out during an emergency. (Newser)