Montesano council meeting stalled over “Qualified” vs. “Certified” ASL interpreter

The Montesano City Council meeting last night was postponed (actually recessed) until Thursday night, after city councilmember Marisa Salzer was unable to understand her sign language interpreter.
Just minutes into the regular agenda, Salzer told the council “I’m not voting tonight because I can’t understand my interpreter, she’s not certified.” City Administrator Kristy Powell said that while she wasn’t certified, she was qualified and was one of two interpreters provided at Montesano’s last council meeting.
ASL Interpreter Alice Akrish
“I have never had, in my lifetime, a deaf person not understand me, ever.”

Last night’s interpreter, Alice Akrish, has been %85 deaf all of her life, with her deaf father at her side, she said after the meeting “I have never had, in my lifetime, a deaf person not understand me, ever.”

Salzer said last night that Brenda House, had notified Powell that Salzar required a certified, rather than qualified interpreter; House is certified.
The previous provider for the city, ASL Professionals, notified them earlier this month that they can no longer provide services because of “the situation it was putting their interpreters in.”
Powell said after the meeting that a qualified interpreter is all that they are required to provide to allow reasonable accommodation.
The ADA defines discrimination of hard of hearing and deaf individuals as “…a failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services…” The ADA definition of “auxiliary aids and services” includes “qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.”
The key phrase used by the ADA when it comes to deaf and hard of hearing individuals is “effective communication.” Whatever is necessary to ensure effective communication is required, by law, to be done.
Although the details of what “effective communication” entails may be hazy in some cases, there’s no doubt that ultimately sign language interpreting is the most straightforward way for institutions to fulfill their obligations under the ADA.
Therefore, any place of public accommodation is required to provide sign language interpreters or other effective means of communication for hard of hearing individuals. Depending on the situation, other effective means of communication may include assistive listening devices.

 

 

 

Hoquiam awarded DOT grants to address street and sidewalk improvements

HOQUIAM, Wash – The City of Hoquiam has received two grants totaling $469,000 from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board to address street and sidewalk improvements in accordance with our Hometown Hoquiam Plan.

The grant money will be used to repave the dilapidated pavement on N Street between Emerson and 5th. As part of our match, the City will install new ADA ramps on those N Street intersections.

This new grant money along with the $1,000,000 in grant money that the city is currently using to replace the crumbling sidewalks on K Street as well as our unique and successful neighborhood sidewalk program go a long way to improving safety and walk-ability in  Hoquiam. Continue reading Hoquiam awarded DOT grants to address street and sidewalk improvements

Aberdeen begins process to remove birch trees at Sam Benn Park

Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department
The City received a grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to help complete a majority of this work. The trees were planted after World War One to honor those who fought in that conflict and the City will replace the trees during the renovation of that part of the park. Over the past several years, the trees have begun to show their age with disease and rot.  As a result, we have lost a couple during recent storms. 

Public invited to comment on Regional Transportation Plan

Port Angeles 
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
Wednesday, Dec. 4 
Clallam County Courthouse 
Commission Board Room, room 160 
223 E. Fourth St. 

Sequim 
11 a.m. 
Friday, Dec. 6 
Ironwood Meeting Room 
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe 
1033 Old Blyn Highway 

Port Townsend 
7 – 8:30 p.m. 
Thursday, Dec. 5 
CoLab (Above the Silverwater Café) 
237 Taylor St., Second Floor 

Shelton 
4-5:30 p.m. 
Monday, Dec. 16 
Commission Chambers 
Mason County Building 1 
411 N. Fifth St. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information 
Accommodation requests for people with disabilities can be made by contacting the WSDOT Diversity/ADA Affairs team atwsdotada@wsdot.wa.gov or by calling toll-free, 855-362-4ADA (4232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711. 

Title VI Notice to Public 
It is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its federally funded programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OEO’s Title VI Coordinators, George Laue at (509) 324-6018 or Jonte’ Sulton at (360) 705-7082. 

Aberdeen begins phase 2 of Sam Benn Park restoration project

ABERDEEN, Wash. – The City of Aberdeen will formally break ground on their second phase of the Sam Benn Park Restoration project this Wednesday.
This $227,000 project will repair cracks and install a new coating over the tennis courts, install ADA sidewalks, as well as sitting areas adjacent to, and below, the tennis courts. Parks Director Karl Harris tells us the sitting area below the tennis courts will officially be named “Liz Preble Court” in honor of a long time member of the Parks Board.

Funding for this project will come from the Recreational Conservation Office (RCO), Real Estate Excise Taxes (REET) and City crews.

Harris added that they will be replacing the sidewalk and trees along the Memorial Walk in addition to adding new parking along the roadway. The Memorial Walk project was scheduled to begin this summer but had to be postponed to next year due to scheduling conflicts. – Both of these projects are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014.

Paving work, ADA improvements on US 101 start July 6

Throughout construction, drivers on US 101 will encounter daytime single-lane closures with flaggers for paving operations. Drivers may also encounter pilot car operations on some sections of US 101.

Crews will also begin improvements to sidewalk ramps in Raymond the week of July 6. Temporary facilities will be available throughout construction.

Paving work begins at the northern end of the project area and crews will work their way south. Paving operations in the city of Raymond begin in August, and drivers will be directed to use local detours as crews work through a series of closures on US 101. Commercial Street and Franklin Street in Raymond will remain open.

This project is scheduled for completion in October. WSDOT will continue to inform the public of traffic impacts as work progresses.

For weekly updates on this and all other traffic impacts in the region, please visit the WSDOT Southwest Region Weekly Travel Advisory Web page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/SouthWest/Construction.

WSDOT paves the way for early reopening of SR 103 in Long Beach

“This was a successful partnership effort which helped everyone involved prepare for the closure months in advance,” said Denys Tak, Kelso Area Engineer. “I’m very impressed with our contractor, Knife River, and the tremendous effort they have put forth on the project.” 

SR 103 in Long Beach was repaved as part of the $2.5 million US 101/SR 103 – Fort Columbia Vic. to Long Beach Vic. paving and chip seal project, which began construction on May 15. The project received $690,000 in stimulus funding through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

What’s next?

In late June or early July, crews will begin chip sealing work on SR 103 between

Pioneer Road W

and

255th Place

(mileposts 2.53 to 10.77) and finish installing new ADA ramps in the project area. In addition, crews will install pavement markings and new signage. This work is highly weather-dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.  

and (mileposts 2.53 to 10.77) and finish installing new ADA ramps in the project area. In addition, crews will install pavement markings and new signage. This work is highly weather-dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

Once the entire project is complete, drivers will experience a safer, smoother ride and improved pedestrian and ADA facilities in Long Beach.The project is expected to be complete by August.

For more information about the US 101/SR 103 – Fort Columbia Vic. to Long Beach Vic. paving project, please visit the project Web page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/PavementRehab/SR103_177StToBaySt/.

Washington State is administering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Gregoire created a Web site, www.recovery.wa.gov, so every Washingtonian can see where tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Obama has appointed Vice President Biden to oversee all states’ recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.