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May 28, 2003

City to provide services for the deaf on demand

From: Whitehorse Star, Canada - May 28, 2003

by By Stephanie Waddell Star Reporter

The city will be providing interpretive services for the deaf on demand at its weekly meetings.
Council passed the resolution at Monday evening's meeting in response to a request by the Yukon Association of the Deaf.
The recommendation passed also saw the Inclusion Administrative Directive adopted, and administration will research the system requirements to provide sign language telecast of meetings. That will be brought forward for the 2004 budget discussions.
The cost of providing sign language interpretation at council meetings is $75 an hour. Based on that figure, it's estimated the service will cost $150 a week or $7,200 a year.
Coun. Samson Hartland again declared a conflict on the matter, as he had in the previous week, and left council chambers during the vote. Hartland's father, Lewis, wrote the letter to the city from the deaf association.
Inside council chambers, it was a unanimous vote to go ahead with the recommendation by city staff.
A number of people spoke out at the May 20 meeting. They called on council to provide services so it's easier for the deaf to take part in council proceedings.
City manager Bill Newell said Tuesday afternoon that with council's direction, it will seek out quotes for the service. The city could have someone available by June 9.
The $7,200 a year it could cost won't have a major impact on the budget. For the remainder of the 2003 fiscal year, the funding will likely come from council expenses or a similar fund.
"It's not a significant amount that would have any impact on the 2003 budget," he said.
When the city prepares the 2004 budget, it's likely to have a better idea of the actual costs.
"The resolution was to provide it on demand, so we'll see how much it's required," he said.
See letter, p. 11.

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