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Supporting/opposing legislation that effects the deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and interpreting communities is an important part for each individual to get involved. This page is dedicated to providing sample letters to help guide people interested in contacting their legislators.

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Below are sample letters and template letters to support AB-589/SB-465 - Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill. Letters can be copy/paste into an email or sent via mail (make sure you have the correct office mailing address for your representatives).

 

Letters to Senators to Support a Public Hearing on SB465:

 

 

[ DATE ]

 

[NAME OF YOUR SENATOR]
[OFFICE ADDRESS FOR YOUR SENATOR]

 

RE:  SB 465 Support the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill

 

Dear Senator [SENATOR’S LAST NAME],

 

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident in [YOUR CITY]. As a constituent in your district, I want you to support SB 465, which is the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill. This bill is important to deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, sign language interpreters and various stakeholders in our state. The bill will provide much needed protections for consumers by including better enforcement and oversight of sign language interpreters. In addition, it includes reasonable requirements for service providers that will ensure employment opportunities while maintaining high quality standards for consumers.

 

On Thursday, January 25th, the assembly committee on Jobs and the Economy, passed AB 589, which had overwhelming support. SB 465 is currently being held up in the senate committee on Public Benefits, Licensing, and State-Federal Relations and has yet allowed for a public hearing.  I implore you to put your support behind this bill and push for a public hearing on SB 465, the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill

 

[USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION SUCH AS ROLE, PERSPECTIVE, POSITION AND EXPLAIN YOUR CONNECTION TO THIS LEGISLATION]

 

Due to changes in certification offerings on a national level, we need to ensure that interpreters have additional options to verify their qualifications to work in this profession. The proposed bill includes additional alternatives for certification, which is a minimum requirement that provides protections to the consumers we serve. AB2200 will eliminate the restricted six-year terminal license and replace it with an indefinite license as long as certification and continuing education requirements are met. This will allow professionals to continue working and provide a larger pool of service providers to meet the many needs of consumers. AB2200 includes a MOU between the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Public Instruction to bring clarity and agreement regarding the scope of work in K-12 settings and community settings.  This bill proposes to establish an examining board that is comprised with a majority of consumers.  Under the current law, the enforcement mechanisms are weak and have minimal impact on the oversight of ethical practices.  The proposed board will be authorized to monitor and enforce the law and ensure safeguards are in place so that an already marginalized community is not further taken advantage of and suffer at the hands of unqualified and unethical practitioners. [ADD A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW THE CURRENT CHANGES TO RID HAVE IMPACTED YOU AND/OR HOW THE RESTRICTED LICENSE OF SIX YEARS MAY LEAD TO TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT].  

 

It is my hope you seriously consider the points presented to you and offer your support to SB 465, the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill.  The bill will lessen some of the restrictions and barriers to employment while balancing the needs of consumers to have high quality service providers. Please acknowledge your support of this bill. If you would like further information I would be happy to meet with you.  [OPTIONAL: If you would like more information; I would be happy to meet with you.]

 

Sincerely,

 

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR  HOME ADDRESS]
[YOUR CITY / STATE / ZIP ]
[YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]


Letter to Representatives to Vote for AB589

[ DATE ]

 

[NAME OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]
[OFFICE ADDRESS FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]

 

RE:  AB 589 - Support the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill

 

Dear Representative [REPRESENTATIVE’S LAST NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident in [YOUR CITY]. As a constituent in your district, I want you to support AB 589, which is the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill. This bill is important to deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, sign language interpreters and various stakeholders in our state. The bill will provide much needed protections for consumers by including better enforcement and oversight of sign language interpreters. In addition, it includes reasonable requirements for service providers that will ensure employment opportunities while maintaining high quality standards for consumers.

 

On Thursday, January 25th, the assembly committee on Jobs and the Economy, passed AB 589, which had overwhelming support. SB 465 is currently being held up in the senate committee on Public Benefits, Licensing, and State-Federal Relations and has not allowed a public hearing.  I implore you to put your support behind this bill and push for a public hearing on SB 465, the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill.  Once SB 465 is opened for a public hearing, I am confident it will pass the committee and move to the floor for a vote. Please vote yes for this bill because by doing so, you will help people get back to work, offer better accountability of practioners and ensure improved accessibility for consumers.

 

[USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION SUCH AS ROLE, PERSPECTIVE, POSITION AND EXPLAIN YOUR CONNECTION TO THIS LEGISLATION]

 

Due to changes in certification offerings on a national level, we need to ensure that interpreters have additional options to verify their qualifications to work in this profession. The proposed bill includes additional alternatives for certification, which is a minimum requirement that provides protections to the consumers we serve. AB 589 will eliminate the restricted six-year terminal license and replace it with an indefinite license as long as certification and continuing education requirements are met. This will allow professionals to continue working and provide a larger pool of service providers to meet the many needs of consumers. AB 589 includes a MOU between the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Public Instruction to bring clarity and agreement regarding the scope of work in K-12 settings and community settings.  This bill proposes to establish an examining board that is comprised with a majority of consumers.  Under the current law, the enforcement mechanisms are weak and have minimal impact on the oversight of ethical practices.  The proposed board will be authorized to monitor and enforce the law and ensure safeguards are in place so that an already marginalized community is not further taken advantage of and suffer at the hands of unqualified and unethical practitioners. [ADD A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW THE CURRENT CHANGES TO RID HAVE IMPACTED YOU AND/OR HOW THE RESTRICTED LICENSE OF SIX YEARS MAY LEAD TO TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT].  

 

It is my hope you seriously consider the points presented to you and offer your support to AB 589, the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill.  The bill will lessen some of the restrictions and barriers to employment while balancing the needs of consumers to have high quality service providers. Please acknowledge your support of this bill. If you would like further information I would be happy to meet with you.  [OPTIONAL: If you would like more information; I would be happy to meet with you.]

 

Sincerely,

 

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR  HOME ADDRESS]
[YOUR CITY / STATE / ZIP ]
[YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]


Older Template Letter Sample: 

Note, in the templates below you will have to update the LRB number to AB-589/SB-465

Template Deaf Letter of Support 
(WORD Document)
Template Interpreter Letter of Support
(WORD Document)
Sample Deaf Letter of Support 
(PDF)
Sample Interpreter Letter of Support  
(PDF)
Sample Follow Up Letter
(PDF)

 

You can also copy/paste the template text below to create your email or letter: 


TEMPLATE Deaf Letter of Support:

 

[ DATE ]

[NAME OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]
[OFFICE ADDRESS FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]

Re: AB589/SB465 Support the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill

Dear Representative [REPRESENTATIVE’S LAST NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident in [YOUR CITY], WI.  As a taxpayer and a registered voter in your district, I am writing to urge you to support AB589/SB465, which would replace the current Wisconsin license for sign language interpreters that was passed in 2010 (Wisconsin §440.032).  This new bill will make communication services more effective for our deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and hearing communities.  It is very important for these consumers of sign language interpreting services to have equal access to communication through minimum standards and qualifications in service providers.

[ ADD A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT WHEN/WHERE YOU USE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS].  Having a minimum standard of qualification means no miscommunication between myself and anyone in those environments. This bill also will ensure all interpreters are licensed and can face consequences if an interpreter does not have a license or is unethical.  This will ensure interpreters are meeting the needs of consumers and protect consumers in their most vulnerable moments.

Please acknowledge your support of this bill.  [OPTIONAL: If you will like more information; I would be happy to meet with you.]  Thank you for considering. Please encourage your fellow legislators to do the same.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR  HOME ADDRESS]
[YOUR CITY / STATE / ZIP ]
[YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]


TEMPLATE Interpreter Letter of Support:

 

[ DATE ]

 

[NAME OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]
[OFFICE ADDRESS FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]

 

RE:  AB589/SB465 Support the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill

Dear Representative [REPRESENTATIVE’S LAST NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident in [YOUR CITY]. As a constituent in your district, I want you to support AB589/SB465, which is the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill. This bill is important to deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, sign language interpreters and various  stakeholders in our state. The bill will provide much needed protections for consumers by including better enforcement and oversight of sign language interpreters. In addition, it includes reasonable requirements for service providers that will ensure employment opportunities while maintaining high quality standards for consumers.
 

[USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION SUCH AS ROLE, PERSPECTIVE, POSITION AND EXPLAIN YOUR CONNECTION TO THIS LEGISLATION]

Due to changes in certification offerings on a national level, we need to ensure that interpreters have additional options to verify their qualifications to work in this profession. The proposed bill includes additional alternatives for certification, which is a minimum requirement that provides protections to the consumers we serve. AB589/SB465 will eliminate the restricted six-year terminal license and replace it with an indefinite license as long as certification and continuing education requirements are met. This will allow professionals to continue working and provide a larger pool of service providers to meet the many needs of consumers. AB589/SB465 includes a MOU between the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Public Instruction to bring clarity and agreement regarding the scope of work in K-12 settings and community settings.  This bill proposes to establish an examining board that is comprised with a majority of consumers.  Under the current law, the enforcement mechanisms are weak and have minimal impact on the oversight of ethical practices.  The proposed board will be authorized to monitor and enforce the law and ensure safeguards are in place so that an already marginalized community is not further taken advantage of and suffer at the hands of unqualified and unethical practitioners. [ADD A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW THE CURRENT CHANGES TO RID HAVE IMPACTED YOU AND/OR HOW THE RESTRICTED LICENSE OF SIX YEARS MAY LEAD TO TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT].  

It is my hope you seriously consider the points presented to you and offer your support to AB589/SB465, the Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill.  The bill will lessen some of the restrictions and barriers to employment while balancing the needs of consumers to have high quality service providers. Please acknowledge your support of this bill. If you would like further information I would be happy to meet with you.  [OPTIONAL: If you would like more information; I would be happy to meet with you.]

Sincerely,


[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR  HOME ADDRESS]
[YOUR CITY / STATE / ZIP ]
[YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]