Board of Trustees meeting addresses the escalated cost for sign language interpreters

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The remaining plan for having two sign language interpreters to accompany students with hearing impairments in the classroom was discussed during the Board of Trustees meeting Monday, Nov. 19 in the Alondra Room.

The Special Resource Center helps to accommodate students with disabilities to allow them to have the same experience as all other El Camino College students.

Dean of health science and athletics Rory Natividad and Director of the Special Resource Center provided a presentation of the importance of having two interpreters in the classroom.

“In the past, we have one interpreter in the classroom, now the guideline is two interpreters offering the services, that way they can switch off,” Natividad said during the meeting.

The program receives state and federal funding from the Chancellor’s Office and from Funds 11 and 12 which are the General Unrestricted and Restricted Funds from El Camino College.

“You’ll see from 2014 to 2018 an escalation in the cost in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing services on campus,” Natividad said during the meeting.

Natividad listed a number of reasons as to why the cost has escalated including the change in the field with requirements and qualifications, the rate of pay increases for interpreters and the number of interpreters in a classroom has increased.

In 2014, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program spent $578,177 and in 2018, they spent $1,083,365.

“I think the program is an amazing program because it makes access more universal for all students,” EC President Dena Maloney said after the meeting.

Despite the increase in cost over the last few years, this program still has over $1,109,932 in available funding according to the presentation.

“It looks as though we will have sufficient funding, that’s not the concern, it’s more about expanding the number of interpreters available should we need them,” Maloney said after the meeting.

The program currently has 28 hourly interpreters including two 12- month staff interpreters, one 10-month interpreter and one lead interpreter specialist.

“I actually think this program will be really beneficial to the students…El Camino College actually has a really great Special Resource Center,” student trustee Marilyn Valdez said after the meeting.

ECC has been providing Sign Language Interpreting services for students, staff and faculty since 1972, according to the powerpoint presentation.

“We’re very pleased that we can continue to provide these services as it’s really important that we’re as inclusive as possible to all students, especially the fact that this has continued over a number of years is really great for the campus and it’s great for the students,” Board of Trustees Vice President, Cliff Numark said after the meeting.


Update: 7:30 p.m. Headline was adjusted for grammatical accuracy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email