Kamala, who is deaf and has low vision, communicates using Nepali Sign Language (NSL) and frequently needs an interpreter to assist her with meetings and appointments. New Hampshire requires interpreters to be certified but only a few people in New Hampshire understand NSL and there were no certified NSL interpreters. This meant that Kamala would have to get the state’s licensing rules waived each and every time she had a meeting or appointment.
We petitioned the NH Interpreter Licensure Board for a one-year waiver that would cover all NSL interpreting for Kamala and several other deaf and hard of hearing Nepali-Bhutanese people. After a hearing, the Licensure Board granted the waiver. DRC-NH has gone back to the Licensure Board to obtain a waiver every year since. Now when Kamala goes to the doctor, or to her son parent-teacher meetings, she can understand and participate.