Deaf community outraged over Hurricane Irma interpreter

People noticed the sign language interpreter was not a professional when he signed words such as a pizza bear and monster during the Mantee County Irma press conference

An On-Air Interpreter Has Been Accused Of Signing Gibberish During Hurricane Irma

There was outrage among the deaf community when it emerged that a sign language interpreter who warned about "bears and monsters" ahead of Hurricane Irma, was an amateur with no expertise for the role. Sandra Roche commented on the county's video of the press conference.

However, she claims, she was never called to help.

County leaders said they were in a pinch and didn't have time to bring in a certified professional - instead they asked Greene, who is a county staff member, to step in with his basic knowledge.

A sign language interpreter is accused of being a phony after signing the words "pizza" and "monster" during a news conference to announce an emergency evacuation order during Hurricane Irma.

Trained ASL interpreters always wear blue, black or a color where their hands will stand out. She said she was horrified when she saw the broadcast.

As the storm first struck Florida, people who use American Sign Language became concerned when they noticed Manatee County's interpreter making random gestures.

"It was obvious to me he wasn't a professional interpreter".

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County officials say they have learned from the mistake.

Meanwhile, the the deaf community is demanding an apology from the county, claiming this was way too risky and put lives at risk. "I don't know why".

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"I was really shocked when they called back and cancelled", McCarthy told BuzzFeed News.

Azzara told the paper that the county has requested an interpreter and public information assistance from the state of Florida.

Former president of the National Association of the Deaf, Chris Wagner, said he knew something was wrong when Mr Greene started doing sign language.

"I would assume at some point, we'll be having a conversation about how to move forward about the future so this doesn't happen", she said.

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