NO to RFP 13-X-22538 based on American Sign Language service

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Stephanie Feyne
8 years ago
At this time there are no procedures to ensure quality services from agencies that answer RFPs. And often the government is in no position to evaluate the caliber of services provided. Most agencies that respond to RFPs are for profit and make their money by providing the lowest level of service (the cheapest interpreters). I believe that the standards that NJ has upheld, that are models for other states, would be sadly lowered by such an RFP. Most spoken language agencies do not even have the capacity to evaluate the skills of the sign language interpeters they hire. Unless such evaluative skills are mandated by the RFP, and other protections for Deaf consumers are also built in, the RFP will damage the credibility of NJ and will harm the Deaf community.

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Beth Ferejohn
8 years ago
Qualikty standards will decline with best practices; legal rulings will be subject to challenge resulting in litigations costly to the state; rights of the deaf to equal treatment will be impaired.

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Pete Pizza
8 years ago
I don't believe that outsourcing work to companies based outside the state will provide an improvement in service; some independient judgement needs to be remain in the selection process, and local service providers best know the needs of the deaf community in NJ.

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Rosalyn Christensen
8 years ago
Deaf people should be able to choose their Intepreters. Freelance Interpreters should be a choice.

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Tom Bull
8 years ago
I'm concerned about the Deaf Community.... this works against the community. this important to you? (Optional)

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Keven Poore
8 years ago
As a Certified Deaf Interpreter, I have done independent contractor work through agencies that primarily provide spoken language interpreting with ASL interpreting as an "add on". This model fails to recognize ASL interpreting as an unique process and extremely different from spoken language interpreting. Therefore, both the Deaf consumer and the agency hiring the interpreter suffer due to lack of quality assurance and overall inadequate cultural competence of the "one stop shop" agency. It appears this RFP is proposing this concept and this is a recipe for failure and additional costs due to lawsuits, repeated assignments due to unqualified or unmatched interpreters doing initial assignments, and severe misunderstandings resulting in further harm to the Deaf consumer. I urge you to allow ASL interpreter referral agencies to continue to manage ASL interpreting related assignments.

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Jon Lamberton
8 years ago
Spoken language and ASL interpreters are 2 very different professions. They should not be lumped together and if this RFP is fully implemented, deaf consumers and all the "small business" interpreters out there will suffer. The state will pay more also. Instead of inventing a new way to waste money, NJ should look at already existing DDHH and require the various state agencies to utilize DDHH.

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Bryon Rowe
8 years ago
Keeping the quality of interpretation for the Deaf at a high standard.

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Yasmin Ali
8 years ago
WTo:
Ann Wolf, State of New Jersey - Department of the Treasury

I personally object to the RFP 13-X-22538, for the following reasons: American Sign Language is not comparable to Foreign Language translation and is protected additionally under the Americans with Disability Act and other NJ state disability legislatives.

The provisions of the RFP will change the best practices of the interpreting profession, which is developed based on research, collaboration...
I personally object to the RFP 13-X-22538, for the following reasons: American Sign Language is not comparable to Foreign Language translation and is protected additionally under the Americans with Disability Act and other NJ state disability legislatives.

The provisions of the RFP will change the best practices of the interpreting profession, which is developed based on research, collaboration with the deaf community of over 40 years. The state shouldn’t be in the position to
change what the best business practice of the interpreting profession.

Division of the deaf and hard of hearing has established a “going” rate base on the collaboration for prices for all services brought through Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. If other programs/divisions/departments are not utilizing uniformed pricing across the board, then it needs to be brought under control through that form. By utilizing an agency – you’re definitely doubling the cost of services provided at the expense of the state.

There are provisions to file a complaint against individual interpreters who are registered with the national registry of interpreters. There are NO set standards for agencies providing American Sign Language and no way to file complaints regarding services provided by the agencies. By providing contracts to the agencies, both the interpreters/consumers will lose their voice in filing a complaint, providing feedback, etc.

As of today, even though your RFP does not state, it was told that the state’s RFP is expected that the agencies bidding on services MUST be able to fulfill all aspects of the other 3 areas (spoken languages (in person/phone), and written language).

We ask you to leave out the Sign Language portion of the RFP and discuss with the leaders of the deaf and hard of hearing community to come up with other viable options.

Thank you,
Sincerely,
Yasmin Ali

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Michelle Mathews
8 years ago
I am a student of ASL. I intend to become an interpreter.