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Deaf community outraged after interpreter signed gibberish before Irma

17 September 2017

"It was horribly unnerving for me".

Sign language interpreters are as common a sight as news cameras and reporters at press briefings these days, particularly when it comes to emergency matters such as an impending natural disaster. "To watch that, knowing I could provide a qualified, certified interpreter". The interpreter - a lifeguard named Marshall Greene - apparently has a deaf brother. The county was "in a pinch" and used Greene because he had "an understanding of sign language", but apparently that understanding only allowed him to sign words such as "pizza", "bear", and "monster".

When then-President Obama and other world leaders memorialized Nelson Mandela in 2013, the funeral was overshadowed by an embarrassing scandal: a phony sign language interpreter who was just gesturing at random.

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

"I knew something went horribly wrong", Charlene McCarthy told WFLA.

The press conference turned out to be an insult and a disaster, according to members of the deaf community.

"Everybody was talking about it on social media, everyone was shocked, asking leaders in the deaf community to do something about it", said Chris.

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Sara Juarez is a senior at Moore High School and the cousin of OU student Vanessa Meraz who introduced many of Friday's speakers. There's no reason this opportunity should not extend to young immigrants brought here as children who know no other home.

He added that Mr Greene was making obvious mistakes when interpreting, such as wearing a bright yellow top rather than black which would have made his hands more visible.

We spoke with the interpreter's family Tuesday night.

WSVN reports that members of Florida's deaf community are demanding an apology from the county after Greene's signing, saying his interpreting was risky and endangered people's lives.

Greene's family said he was simply asked to help out during a hard time.

"He can't expect to communicate something he doesn't know".

Manatee County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

Deaf community outraged after interpreter signed gibberish before Irma