CHAPTER 814a

DEAF AND HEARING IMPAIRED PERSONS

Table of Contents

Sec. 46a-27. (Formerly Sec. 17-137l). Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Advisor to Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Sec. 46a-28. (Formerly Sec. 17-137m). Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Members, meetings, expenses.

Sec. 46a-29. (Formerly Sec. 17-137n). Assistance from other government agencies.

Sec. 46a-30. (Formerly Sec. 17-137o). Powers to receive moneys, make contracts.

Sec. 46a-31. (Formerly Sec. 17-137p). Commission to administer funds for interpreters.

Sec. 46a-32. (Formerly Sec. 17-137r). Annual and interim reports of commissioner.

Sec. 46a-33. (Formerly Sec. 17-137k). “Qualified interpreter” definition. Interpreters for the deaf or hearing impaired person in public proceedings or in proceedings provided by an employer or union. Interpreters to be provided upon request by educational facilities and human service agencies.

Sec. 46a-33a. Registration of persons providing interpreting services. Required qualifications.

Sec. 46a-33b. Interpreting services provided by the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Secs. 46a-34 to 46a-40. Reserved


Sec. 46a-27. (Formerly Sec. 17-137l). Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Advisor to Department of Rehabilitation Services. The Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired is hereby created to advocate, strengthen and advise the Department of Rehabilitation Services concerning state policies affecting deaf and hearing impaired individuals and their relationship to the public, industry, health care and educational opportunity.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 1, 11; P.A. 77-614, S. 538, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 84-361, S. 2, 7; P.A. 86-50, S. 1; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 98-252, S. 76, 80; P.A. 11-44, S. 35; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 89.)

History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 placed commission within department of human resources for administrative purposes, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 84-361 authorized provision of necessary services including nonreimbursable interpreter services and authorized adoption of regulations to define the formula to be used to determine the amount to be charged for reimbursable interpreter services and the conditions under which nonreimbursable interpreter services shall be provided; P.A. 86-50 authorized provision of message relay services for persons using telecommunication devices for the deaf; Sec. 17-137l transferred to Sec. 46a-27 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 98-252 deleted provision on regulations for setting charges for interpreter services since a similar provision is in Sec. 46a-33b, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 11-44 replaced provision designating commission as coordinating agency with provision designating commission as advisor to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, and deleted provisions re commission being within Department of Social Services and providing services to deaf and hearing impaired persons, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 replaced “Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” with “Department of Rehabilitation Services”, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 46a-28. (Formerly Sec. 17-137m). Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Members, meetings, expenses. (a) The Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired shall consist of twenty-one members, three of whom shall be ex officio. The ex-officio members shall consist of the following individuals: The consultant appointed by the State Board of Education in accordance with section 10-316a, the president of the Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf and the superintendent of the American School for the Deaf. The following members shall be voting members: The Commissioners of Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health, Education, Developmental Services, and Children and Families and the Labor Commissioner or their designees and eleven members appointed by the Governor. Of the members appointed by the Governor one shall be a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state and specializing in otolaryngology; one a parent of a student in a predominantly oral education program, one a parent of a student at the American School for the Deaf and one a parent of a student in a public school hearing impaired program, and seven deaf persons, one of whom shall be a parent.

(b) The commission shall meet at least quarterly or more often at the call of the chairperson or a majority of the members. A majority of the voting members in office but not less than seven voting members shall constitute a quorum.

(c) Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or who fails to attend fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. Vacancies occurring otherwise than by expiration of term in the membership of the commission shall be filled by the officer authorized to make the original appointments.

(d) The members of the commission shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 2, 11; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; 75-638, S. 18, 23; P.A. 77-614, S. 302, 323, 521, 539, 610; P.A. 80-210; P.A. 83-167; P.A. 84-361, S. 3, 7; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-262, S. 66, 87; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(b); P.A. 11-44, S. 36.)

History: P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 75-638 replaced deputy commissioner of health on mental retardation with commissioner of mental retardation; P.A. 77-614 replaced secretary of the state board of education with commissioner of education, commissioner of health with commissioner of health services and commissioner of social services with commissioner of human resources in Subsec. (a), replaced appointment provisions in Subsec. (b) with simple statement that appointments are made by governor and provided that qualifications and compensation of executive director be determined by commissioner of administrative services with approval of secretary of office of policy and management rather than by abolished personnel policy board and that director be under direction of human resources commissioner in Subsec. (e), effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-210 increased commission membership from 15 to 23, adding commissioners of income maintenance and children and youth services, increasing gubernatorial appointees from 9 to 11 and deaf appointees from 5 to 7; P.A. 83-167 amended Subsec. (a) by decreasing commission membership from 23 to 22, deleting the ex officio membership of the superintendent of the Mystic Oral School and providing that one member be a parent of a student in a predominantly oral education program rather than of a student at the Mystic Oral School; P.A. 84-361 added provisions requiring that meetings be held at least quarterly, establishing number of members required for quorum and setting standards of attendance required to retain membership and made commission rather than human resources commissioner responsible for supervision of executive director; Sec. 17-137m transferred to Sec. 46a-28 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-262 reduced commission membership from 22 to 21 to reflect reorganization of social services, replacing reference to commissioners of income maintenance and human resources with commissioner of social services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995 (Revisor’s note: A reference to “Commissioners of Public Health ... Labor, Education, Mental Retardation, and Children and Families” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioners of Public Health ... Education, Mental Retardation, and Children and Families and the Labor Commissioner” for consistency with customary statutory usage); pursuant to P.A. 07-73 “Commissioner of Mental Retardation” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Developmental Services”, effective October 1, 2007; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “commission” with “Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired”, deleted former Subsec. (e) re position of executive director, and deleted former Subsec. (f) re employment of clerical and other assistance, effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 46a-29. (Formerly Sec. 17-137n). Assistance from other government agencies. (a) The Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services may request and shall receive from any department, division, board, bureau, commission or agency of the state or of any political subdivision thereof such assistance and data as will enable the Department of Rehabilitation Services to properly carry out its activities under sections 17b-650e and 46a-30 to 46a-33b, inclusive, and to effectuate the purposes therein set forth.

(b) The Commissioner of Education shall assign one vocational rehabilitation consultant to act as a liaison staff member of the commission.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 3, 11; P.A. 77-614, S. 73, 302, 610; P.A. 87-496, S. 83, 110; P.A. 11-44, S. 39; 11-51, S. 44; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 90.)

History: P.A. 77-614 replaced public works commissioner with commissioner of administrative services and, effective January 1, 1979, replaced secretary of the state board of education with commissioner of education; P.A. 87-496 substituted public works commissioner for administrative services commissioner in Subsec. (b); Sec. 17-137n transferred to Sec. 46a-29 in 1991; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “commission” with “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services”, replacing reference to Secs. 46a-27 to 46a-32 with reference to Secs. 17b-650e and 46a-30 to 46a-33b and making conforming and technical changes, deleted former Subsec. (b) re office space, and redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” with “Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services” and replacing “Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” with “Department of Rehabilitation Services”, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 46a-30. (Formerly Sec. 17-137o). Powers to receive moneys, make contracts. (a) The Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services may receive moneys from any source, including gifts, grants, bequests and reimbursements which moneys may be expended for the purposes designated by the donor or to effectuate the provisions of sections 17b-650e and 46a-29 to 46a-33b, inclusive.

(b) The Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services is empowered to expend its appropriation and receipts to initiate and support the provisions of said sections by contract or other arrangement and to contract for and engage consultants.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 4, 11; P.A. 76-211, S. 2, 4; P.A. 98-252, S. 77, 80; P.A. 11-44, S. 40; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 91.)

History: P.A. 76-211 included reimbursements as source of moneys and replaced reference to Sec. 17-137l with reference to Sec. 17-137k; Sec. 17-137o transferred to Sec. 46a-30 in 1991; P.A. 98-252 made a technical change, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by replacing “commission” with “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” and amended Subsec. (a) by replacing reference to Secs. 46a-27 to 46a-30 and 46a-32 with reference to Secs. 17b-650e and 46a-29 to 46a-33b, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 replaced “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” with “Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services”, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 46a-31. (Formerly Sec. 17-137p). Commission to administer funds for interpreters. Section 46a-31 is repealed, effective July 1, 1998.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 5, 11; P.A. 76-211, S. 3, 4; P.A. 77-458, S. 2; P.A. 80-53, S. 2; P.A. 81-153, S. 1, 2; 81-453, S. 2, 3; P.A. 83-395, S. 3; P.A. 85-271, S. 3, 5; 85-613, S. 116, 154; P.A. 92-262, S. 37, 42; P.A. 98-252, S. 79, 80; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 105, 121.)

Sec. 46a-32. (Formerly Sec. 17-137r). Annual and interim reports of commissioner. The Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services shall make an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly which shall include recommendations for needed programs to effectuate the provisions of sections 17b-650e and 46a-29 to 46a-33b, inclusive. When advisable, the commissioner may make an interim report to the Governor and the General Assembly with recommendations, in order to afford opportunity for immediate action to be taken thereon.

(P.A. 74-252, S. 7, 11; P.A. 11-44, S. 41; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 92.)

History: Sec. 17-137r transferred to Sec. 46a-32 in 1991; P.A. 11-44 replaced “commission” with “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services”, inserted references to Secs. 17b-650e and 46a-29 to 46a-33b and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 replaced references to director of Bureau of Rehabilitative Services with references to Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 46a-33. (Formerly Sec. 17-137k). “Qualified interpreter” definition. Interpreters for the deaf or hearing impaired person in public proceedings or in proceedings provided by an employer or union. Interpreters to be provided upon request by educational facilities and human service agencies. Section 46a-33 is repealed, effective July 1, 1998.

(P.A. 73-482, S. 1–3; P.A. 76-211, S. 1, 4; P.A. 77-458, S. 1; P.A. 80-53, S. 1; P.A. 81-453, S. 1, 3; P.A. 83-181, S. 1, 3; 83-395, S. 2; P.A. 84-47, S. 1, 2; P.A. 98-252, S. 79, 80; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 105, 121.)

Sec. 46a-33a. Registration of persons providing interpreting services. Required qualifications. (a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Interpreting” means the translating or transliterating of English concepts to a language concept used by a person who is deaf or hard of hearing or means the translating of a deaf or hard of hearing person’s language concept to English concepts. Language concepts include, but are not limited to, the use of American Sign Language, English-based sign language, cued speech, oral transliterating and information received tactually;

(2) “Legal setting” means any criminal or civil action involving a court of competent jurisdiction, any investigation conducted by a duly authorized law enforcement agency, employment related hearings and appointments requiring the presence of an attorney;

(3) “Medical setting” means medical related situations including mental health treatment, psychological evaluations, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention and appointments or treatment requiring the presence of a doctor, nurse or other health care professional; and

(4) “Educational setting” means a school or other educational institution, including elementary, high school and post-graduation schools where interpretive services are provided to a student.

(b) All persons providing interpreting services shall register, annually, with the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Such registration shall be on a form prescribed or furnished by the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services and shall include the registrant’s name, address, phone number, place of employment as interpreter and interpreter certification or credentials. The department shall issue identification cards for those who register in accordance with this section.

(c) No person shall provide interpreting services unless such person is registered with the Department of Rehabilitation Services according to the provisions of this section and (1) has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification knowledge examination, holds a level three certification provided by the National Association of the Deaf, documents the achievement of two continuing education units per year for a maximum of five years of training approved by the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, and on or before the fifth anniversary of having passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification knowledge examination, has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf performance examination or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreter certification examination, (2) has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification knowledge examination and is a graduate of an accredited interpreter training program and documents the achievement of two continuing education units per year for a maximum of five years of training approved by the commissioner, and on or before the fifth anniversary of having passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification knowledge examination, has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf performance examination or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreter certification examination, (3) holds a level four or higher certification from the National Association of the Deaf, (4) holds certification by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (5) for situations requiring an oral interpreter only, holds oral certification from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (6) for situations requiring a cued speech transliterator only, holds certification from the National Training, Evaluation and Certification Unit and has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test, (7) holds a reverse skills certificate or is a certified deaf interpreter under the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, or (8) holds a National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreting certificate.

(d) No person shall provide interpreting services in a medical setting unless such person is registered with the Department of Rehabilitation Services according to the provisions of this section and (1) holds a comprehensive skills certificate from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (2) holds a certificate of interpretation or a certificate of transliteration from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (3) holds a level four or higher certification from the National Association of the Deaf, (4) holds a reverse skills certificate or is a certified deaf interpreter under the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (5) for situations requiring an oral interpreter only, holds oral certification from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (6) for situations requiring a cued speech transliterator only, holds certification from the National Training, Evaluation and Certification Unit and has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test, or (7) holds a National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreting certificate.

(e) No person shall provide interpreting services in a legal setting unless such person is registered with the Department of Rehabilitation Services according to the provisions of this section and (1) holds a comprehensive skills certificate from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (2) holds a certificate of interpretation and a certificate of transliteration from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (3) holds a level five certification from the National Association of the Deaf, (4) holds a reverse skills certificate or is a certified deaf interpreter under the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (5) for situations requiring an oral interpreter only, holds oral certification from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (6) for situations requiring a cued speech transliterator only, holds certification from the National Training, Evaluation and Certification Unit and has passed the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf written generalist test, or (7) holds a National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreting certificate.

(f) The requirements of this section shall apply to persons who receive compensation for the provision of interpreting services and include those who provide interpreting services as part of their job duties.

(P.A. 98-252, S. 73, 80; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 24, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 07-15, S. 1; P.A. 09-8, S. 10; P.A. 11-44, S. 42; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 93.)

History: P.A. 98-252 effective July 1, 1998; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 added Subsec. (a)(4) defining “educational setting”, amended Subsec. (d)(3) to reduce required certification from level five to level four and added Subsec. (g) re provision of services in an educational setting, effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 07-15 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to redefine “interpreting” by substituting “language concept” for “specialized vocabulary” and making a technical change, amended Subsec. (a)(2) to redefine “legal setting” by substituting “a court of competent jurisdiction” for “the Superior Court or its agents”, amended Subsec. (a)(3) to redefine “medical setting” by adding “other health care professional”, amended Subsec. (c)(1) and (2) by adding reference to passage of the “National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification knowledge examination” and additional references to passage of the “National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf performance examination or the National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreter certification examination” to testing provisions, added Subsecs. (c)(8), (d)(7) and (e)(7) re holding National Association of the Deaf-National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf national interpreting certificate, amended Subsecs. (c)(3) and (d)(3) to require level four “or higher” certification, and made technical changes; P.A. 09-8 made technical changes in Subsecs. (c), (d) and (e); P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing “Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired” with “Bureau of Rehabilitative Services”, replacing “commission” with “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services”, deleting provision requiring annual issuance of identification cards and making technical changes, amended Subsecs. (c), (d) and (e) by replacing “commission” with “Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” and making conforming changes, and deleted former Subsec. (g) re interpreting services in an educational setting, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 replaced references to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services with references to Department of Rehabilitation Services and replaced references to director of Bureau of Rehabilitative Services with references to Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, effective July 1, 2012.

Section does not support equal protection claim that certification is required for person translating confession of non-hearing-impaired defendant due to defendant’s inability to speak or read English. 299 C. 39.

Sec. 46a-33b. Interpreting services provided by the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Upon the request of any person or any public or private entity, the Department of Rehabilitation Services shall provide interpreting services to assist such person or entity to the extent such persons who provide interpreting services are available. Any person or entity receiving interpreting services through the department shall reimburse the department for such services at a rate set by the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services. The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish the manner of rate setting.

(P.A. 98-252, S. 74, 80; P.A. 11-44, S. 43; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 94.)

History: P.A. 98-252 effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 11-44 replaced “Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired” and “commission” with “Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” or “bureau” and with “director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services” or “director”, respectively, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 replaced references to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services with references to Department of Rehabilitation Services and replaced references to director of Bureau of Rehabilitative Services with references to Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, effective July 1, 2012.

Secs. 46a-34 to 46a-40. Reserved for future use.