BILL NUMBER: AB 2912 AMENDED
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 16, 2004
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 1, 2004
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Goldberg
An act to add Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 8900) to
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to
interpreters and transliterators.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 2912, as amended, Goldberg. Interpreters and transliterators.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of certain
businesses and professions by the Department of Consumer Affairs or
licensing boards within the department.
This bill would provide for the regulation of sign language
interpreters and sign language transliterators, who offer sign
language interpreting and sign language transliterating services for
the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and other persons to consumers for
A violation of the bill would be a
misdemeanor and would make a person subject to a civil penalty of not
more than $1,000.
Because this bill would create a new crime by providing that a
violation of the bill is a misdemeanor, the bill would impose a
state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason. The bill would authorize
the Department of Consumer Affairs to assess an administrative
penalty of up to $1,000 against a referral agency or person who
This bill would require the California community colleges,
California State University, and University of California if the
regents agree, to issue a joint report to the Legislature by February
1, 2005, that evaluates standards for the hiring of sign language
interpreters and offers recommendations for student access to
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program:
yes no .
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 8900) is added to
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER 16. SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS AND TRANSLITERATORS ACT
Article 1. General Provisions
8900. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Sign
Language Interpreters and Transliterators Act.
8901. (a) The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
(1) To provide for the establishment of minimum standards
for the practice of sign language interpreters and transliterators in
(2) To regulate persons who offer sign language interpreting
and transliterating services to the public who charge a fee or other
payment, and to impose penalties on anyone violating those
(b) It is not the intent of the Legislature in enacting this
chapter to infringe on a consumer's right to choose a sign language
interpreter or transliterator. It is the intent of the Legislature
that entities offering public accommodations for the deaf or
hard-of-hearing should continue to consult with individuals who are
deaf or hard-of-hearing wherever possible in order to determine what
type of auxiliary aid is needed to ensure effective communication.
8902. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
(a) "Consumer" means a deaf or hard-of-hearing person,, or any
other person that requires the services of a sign language
interpreter and transliterator to effectively communicate with and
comprehend discourse between American Sign Language and English.
(b) "Interpreter Preparation Program," "IPP," "Interpreter
Training Program," or "ITP" means a postsecondary degree program of
at least one year.
(c) "Sign language interpreter" means a person with the ability to
interpret between American Sign Language (ASL) and written or spoken
(d) "Sign language interpreting" means the ability to interpret
between American Sign Language (ASL) and written or spoken English
effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and
expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
(e) "Qualified sign language interpreter" means a person who holds
current certification credentials from the National Registry of
Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the National
the Deaf (NAD), or the National Interpreter Certification (NIC).
Association of the Deaf (NAD), the American Consortium
of Certified Interpreters (ACCI), or an equivalent organization, as
determined by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
(f) "Sign language transliterator" means a person with the ability
to transliterate between English-based sign language and written or
(g) "Sign language transliterating" means the ability to
transliterate between English-based sign language and written or
spoken English, effectively, accurately, and impartially, both
receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized
8904. Prior to evaluating credentialing organizations for
purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 8902, the Department of
Consumer Affairs shall convene a task force that includes, but is not
limited to, consumers, representatives from organizations serving
the deaf and hard-of-hearing, interpreter organizations, and the
Department of Social Services' Office of Deaf Access, to provide
recommendations and suggestions. Upon receipt of the task force's
recommendations, the Department of Consumer Affairs shall have the
authority to evaluate and approve credentialing organizations for
purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 8902.
8906. (a) By February 1, 2005, the California community colleges,
California State University, and the University of California if the
regents agree, shall issue a joint report to the Legislature that
evaluates existing standards for the hiring of sign language
interpreters and offers recommendations to ensure that all deaf and
hard-of-hearing students have access to qualified interpreters.
(b) The California community colleges, California State
University, and the University of California if the regents agree,
shall, in the preparation of the report required by subdivision (a),
seek input from interested parties, including deaf and
hard-of-hearing students, interpreter organizations, and
representatives of community organizations that provide services to
the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Article 2. Scope of Regulation
8910. Effective January 1, 2009, a person must be certified as a
qualified sign language interpreter or transliterator pursuant to
this chapter in order to do any of the following:
(a) Engage in the practice of, or offer to engage in the practice
of, sign language interpreting and sign language transliterating for
a consumer for compensation.
(b) Use the title "sign language interpreter," "sign language
transliterator," or a similar title in connection with his or her
(c) Assume the identity of a sign language interpreter or sign
(d) Use the title "sign language interpreter" or "sign language
transliterator" in advertisements or descriptions.
Perform the function of, or convey
Convey the impression that he or she is, a sign language
interpreter or sign language transliterator.
8911. The following persons are exempt from the requirements of
(a) A person who engages in the practice of interpreting solely
meetings of nonprofit civic or religious
(b) A person who is working in an emergency situation in which the
parties decide that the delay necessary to obtain a qualified sign
language interpreter is likely to cause injury or loss to the
(c) Individuals who must meet the requirements set forth in
Section 3051.16 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations,
established by the California Department of Education.
(d) Individuals who must meet the requirements set forth by the
California Judicial Council for court sign language interpreters, as
authorized by subdivision (f) of Section 754 of the Evidence Code.
(e) A person who meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Has graduated from an Interpreter Training Program or an
Interpreter Preparation Program with an associate's degree or higher.
(2) Is teamed with and mentored by a qualified sign language
interpreter pursuant to this chapter.
(3) Identifies himself or herself to any referral agency or
potential client as being mentored by a qualified sign language
(4) Within five years from his or her ITP or IPP graduation
date, obtains national credentials as a sign language interpreter and
(d) A person who is licensed or certified in another state to
engage in the practice of sign language interpreting and who engages
in the practice of sign language interpreting in this state under
either of the following conditions:
(1) The person engages in sign language interpreting in this state
for a period of not more than 30 nonconsecutive days in a calendar
(2) The person engages in sign language interpreting by
teleconference if the sign language interpreting services provided by
that person are necessary because a sign language interpreter is
unavailable to provide those services in person or by teleconference.
(e) A person who occasionally engages in the practice of sign
language interpreting in a social situation that does not require a
qualified interpreter pursuant to the provisions of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 and following),
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794),
or the regulations adopted under to those provisions.
Article 3. Offenses and Enforcement
8920. Unless it is otherwise expressly provided, a person who
violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and
may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than one thousand
dollars ($1,000). An action for the enforcement of a civil penalty
pursuant to this section may be brought in any court of competent
jurisdiction by district attorney of an appropriate county or the
SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
8920. A referral agency or person who falsifies credentials may
be assessed an administrative penalty of not more than one thousand
dollars ($1,000) by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
MEASURE : A.B. No. 2912
AUTHOR(S) : Goldberg.
TOPIC : Interpreters and transliterators.
HOUSE LOCATION : ASM
+LAST AMENDED DATE : 04/16/2004
TYPE OF BILL :
Majority Vote Required
Non-State-Mandated Local Program
LAST HIST. ACT. DATE: 11/30/2004
LAST HIST. ACTION : From committee without further action.
TITLE : An act to add Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 8900)
to Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code,
relating to interpreters and transliterators.