Press Release

Disaster Response Interpreter training slated in Augusta

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the Maine Center on Deafness, will sponsor Disaster Response Interpreter training for certified sign language interpreters 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 11, in the Champlain Room, Department of Public Safety Office, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta.

This training and all course materials will be provided at no cost to the selected participants. Lunch and breaks will be provided. All other expenses are the responsibility of the student.

This full-day course will be taught in American Sign Language and is intended for professional sign language interpreters working in Maine who may be called upon to provide interpreting services after a disaster. All participants must be fluent in ASL. The training emphasizes basic knowledge of emergency response and recovery activities, and provides practice opportunities for interpreting at press conferences and shelters.

Topics include an overview of emergency management in Maine at the state and county levels, media and press protocols, shelter operations and recovery services, interpreter readiness, and procedures for interpreters trained in disaster response.

This program is offered for 0.8 Professional Studies CEUs at the Little/None content level through [Maine RID](, an approved RID CMP Sponsor.

Participants must have an active Maine professional license as Certified Interpreter/Transliterator of American Sign Language and English or Certified Deaf Interpreter of American Sign Language and English, active RID certification: CDI; NAD Level 3, 4 or 5; RID CI and CT, CSC, or IC and TC; NIC Generalist, Advanced or Master; and a willingness to be called during an emergency response/disaster.

Not required but preferred, participants should have a minimum of 10 years of community sign language interpreting experience; five years of medical, law enforcement and mental health emergency sign language interpreting experience; affiliation with one or more organizations active in disasters; and completion of FEMA’s IS-7, IS-100, IS-200, and IS-700 online, [independent study courses](

This course is limited to a maximum of 30 students. Preference will be given to Maine state-licensed interpreters holding national certification. Applications must include copies of active licenses and certifications, as well as a list of relevant work experience.

Course lead instructors are a professional interpreter and a deaf professional from Northern California Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Course adjunct instructors are the individual assistance officer and public information officer from MEMA and the state relations disaster liaison from American Red Cross.

For further information, to request accessibility accommodations, or to register, please contact Richard Higgins or Mike Grant at MEMA. All applications should be submitted by email/fax via [FEMA training application form (.pdf format)] (


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