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profishingrods.com September 24, 2017


Florida Sign Language Interpreter Warns of "Bear Monsters" at Hurricane Irma Briefing

17 September 2017, 12:23 | Devin Moran

Manatee County yet to decide storm debris collection

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

"It was horribly unnerving for me to watch that knowing that I could provide a qualified certified interpreter", said McCarthy.

Nelson Mandela memorial: An interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial in 2013 signed gibberish, leaving many questioning if it was a distasteful prank. AL.com reports interpretation duties fell to county lifeguard Marshall Greene, whose brother is deaf. So officials asked an employee who knew limited sign language to help, but when he began incorrectly interpreting words like "pizza", "monster" and "bear" during an evacuation order, the deaf audiences watching were outraged.

"They said yes, for the next morning at 9:30 am", she said.

The former president of the National Association of the Deaf knew right off the bat that something wasn't right.

"Who is this person you are using as a sign language interpreter?"

Azzara told the paper that the county has requested an interpreter and public information assistance from the state of Florida.

"I knew something went horribly wrong", said business owner Charlene McCarthy.

The press conference turned out to be an insult and a disaster, according to members of the deaf community. Chris Wagner spoke with us via interpreter from his home in Clearwater.




"Everybody was talking about it on social media", he told the WFLA news channel.

He pointed out - Greene was dressed in a bright yellow shirt, a major no-no for deaf interpreters since they always dress in black allowing their hands to be visible.

"It was obvious to me he wasn't a professional interpreter".

McCarthy said she was not given any explanation about the identity of the man signing at the briefing, or why the county chose to use him as an interpreter during the briefing.

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

On Sept. 8, an interpreter for the deaf signed a variety of unrelated words while trying to translate a Hurricane Irma evacuation message to hearing impaired residents of Manatee County, Florida.

Meanwhile, the the deaf community is demanding an apology from the county, claiming this was way too risky and put lives at risk.



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