Robinson, Kane Bill to Expand Number of Sign Language Interpreters Passes Senate

HARRISBURG — Legislation that would modernize the Sign Language Interpreter and Transliterator State Registration Act was passed by the Senate today, according to the bill’s sponsors, Sens. Devlin Robinson (R-37) and John Kane (D-9).

Originally enacted in 2004, the act was designed to supplement Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions that did not specify interpreter qualifications. Senate Bill 1274 would update the provisions to meet the evolving needs of the deaf, deafblind and hard-of-hearing communities.

“The importance of this legislation cannot be overstated,” Robinson said. “For too long, the number of registered sign language interpreters has not kept pace with the demand. This bill addresses that shortfall by broadening the pathways individuals can take to become qualified interpreters.”

Key provisions of the bill include expanded certification recognition, the acknowledgment of additional pathways beyond traditional bachelor’s degrees to provide interpreters with diverse qualification paths, and resolution of inconsistencies in current certification and registration criteria to enhance clarity and accessibility for all stakeholders.

“Today, we took a major step toward making our Commonwealth more inclusive,” said Kane. “The dedication and collaboration it took to get this crucial bill passed will allow us to better serve our deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind communities, ensuring they receive the essential services they rightfully deserve.”

The bill has received support from numerous deaf individuals, interpreters and advocacy organizations across the commonwealth. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Eric Kratz (Robinson)
Andrew Henderson (Kane)

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