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Government Affairs Program (GAP)

Bookmark this page as the RID Government Affairs Program (GAP) strives to keep you updated on all the news as it happens. Government affairs issues consist of a wide array of opinions and perspectives. It is GAP's intention to provide the RID membership with varying perspectives as a way to keep you better informed of the issues we face as an organization and a profession. RID's positions and perspectives are shaped by the member feedback we receive, so we encourage you to share with us your concerns, questions or comments on any and all GAP-related items. Please send your GAP communications to

Access GAP's Advocacy Minute:  
“AM” will be videos of quick tips and explanations about advocacy, legislation, and public policy. The goal of “AM” is to demystify advocacy and empower you to be involved in setting the direction of your career and the interpreting profession. If there is a topic that you would like seen covered in this monthly feature, please let us know at


October 8, 2014: Yesterday, RID filed comments in response to the Public Notice published in the September 17, 2014 Washington State Register by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services – Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing on the proposed rules establishing standards for sign language and intermediary interpreters to be qualified to work in Washington Courts. We commend Washington ODHH and all who worked on these rules for establishing standards for interpreters working in Washington courts. Read the full comments>> 

October 1, 2014: RID sent a letter to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin in support of the Save Austine Committee in their efforts to re-establish and restore the operations of the Austine School for the Deaf and the Vermont Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing through state funding. Read the letter>>

July 14, 2014: RID today filed comments with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about how the Commission can fulfill its obligation to be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. Our comments emphasized the need for standards for both interpreters and interpreter referral agencies hired by the federal government. You can read the full comments here.

These comments are the first step in an ongoing dialogue on this issue, so if you have ideas/suggestions, please share them here so we can consider them as this process moves forward.

April 10, 2014: On Friday, April 4, RID met with FCC representatives to discuss how new and existing regulations are impacting the quality of interpreting in VRS. See a recap of the meeting at:. See a recap of the meeting>>

April 7, 2014: RID  filed comments about the proposed rules implementing the Michigan Deaf Persons' Interpreter Act. Our comments advocated for recognition of the Ed: K-12 credential, applauded the work of the Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing to establish specialty endorsements, and expressed concerns about the basis upon which certification equivalency was determined. Read the full comments>>

April 1, 2014: RID filed comments about proposed amendments to the Missouri rules governing interpreters in the state. The comments address concerns around certification equivalency set forth in the rules. A very special thank you to MO-RID president, Kathleen Alexander, for her support and advice through the commenting process. You can view the comments here>> 

February 1, 2014: RID today submitted comments regarding the iTRS National Outreach Program urging the Commission to involve interpreters from the onset of any discussions that will impact the job functions of VRS interpreters. RID strongly believes that until interpreting is recognized as a core service of VRS and interpreter perspectives are included in the decision-making process, the Commission will continue to struggle to meet its ADA to provide a functionally equivalent video relay service.

September 18, 2013: Read Read the RID reply comments to the FCC on proposed rules for VRS reform. A special thank you to VIMS for all of their work on these and our initial comments.

August 19, 2013: Read the RID comments to the FCC on proposed rules for VRS reform via the link below. Engage in the discussion by providing your comments to RID ( by September 10 for consideration in RID's reply comments. The FCC also invites you to send your own comments by September 18th.

June 19, 2013: RID, NorCRID, SaVRID and SDCRID file joint comments with the Judicial Council of California on the proposed changes to Evidence Code Section 754>>

April 5, 2013: RID Takes Its Advocacy to Michigan>>

March 19, 2013: RID and MiRID file joint comments with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights - DODHH - on the proposed regulations implementing the MI Deaf Persons' Act >>

February 27, 2013: RID Announces the Hire of Julie Anne Schafer, Esq., as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy>>

January 25, 2013: Janet L. Bailey Retires from RID as Government Affairs Representative>>
RID is currently seeking to fill the position of Director of Public Policy and Advocacy to fill the vacancy from Janet’s retirement. The job posting is available at


Julie Schafer
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy


Helpful Hits on How to File a Complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):

If you encounter situations when handling VRS calls that are of concern to you, please feel free to file a comment or complaint with the FCC. Examples that would merit a letter to the Commission are situations where you feel that your ethics as an interpreter are being compromised or in conflict with the FCC regulations, situations where you have experiences harassment and have no other avenue to end the harassment, or other similar situations.

File your complaint with the FCC's Consumer Center by one of the following methods:

E-mailing :

Calling: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) Voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY

Faxing: 1-866-418-0232

Writing: Federal Communications Commission, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau; Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division; 445 12th Street, SW; Washington, DC, 20554

For further information, please see the FCC fact sheets on Video Relay Service and on the Informal Complaint Process.

Other Resources:
Visit the National Association of the Deaf’s (NAD) Take Action page for a list of their current advocacy issues

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