• 23 Mar 2017 10:05 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    We have heard from some members recently regarding our announcement about hosting the FRID Annual Business Meeting at the Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD)'s 100th Anniversary Celebration. The FRIDay Flash is a great way to share quick announcements but doesn't allow for longer, and often necessary, elaboration. Please allow me to contextualize the Board's decision to host our ABM in conjunction with FAD's event.

    Throughout my nearly 2 years as FRID President, I have unearthed scores of old documents. One of my favorites being the original RID paperwork filed by the founders of FRID back in February of 1971. As you can see, there were several Deaf individuals involved with the founding of FRID, including our first VP, Bob Thomson. Even from the onset, it was evident that FRID valued a strong relationship with the Deaf community and Deaf organizations. I have also come across countless agreements and contracts entered into in good faith by my predecessors and the leaders of FAD.

    Several years ago, FRID made the decision to switch to a biannual conference; however, the bylaws still required an Annual Business Meeting. Fortunately for us, FAD was also hosting biannual conferences during our off year, thus leading to a perfect arrangement for both organizations to host their respective business meetings during the other's conference. This was the case in 2013 when I first got involved with FRID; the FRID Annual Business Meeting was held at FAD's conference in Tampa that year. It was inspiring to me to see a strong partnership between my state interpreting organization and the state association of the Deaf. 

    When I took a leadership position in the organization, I made it my top priority to not only continue but also strengthen the relationship between FRID and FAD. With the support of the Board, we signed an agreement with FAD to begin hosting joint conferences, and we successfully did so this past October. As we move forward, FRID and FAD plan to continue the joint conferences, with the next one to be hosted jointly being held in 2018.  The current administration of FRID will continue to look for opportunities to partner with FAD. 

    FAD is planning their 100th Anniversary Celebration, a special event, independently from FRID. Due to our long-standing relationship, FAD has been gracious enough to allow us to host our ABM during their celebration in the host hotel (at no cost to FRID). To show our gratitude, we are encouraging our members to attend the full weekend of FAD events. The FRID Annual Business Meeting will be held on the Saturday evening that weekend so as not to conflict with any of the FAD programming. 

    The FRID ABM is free and open to the public and registration for FAD's 100th Anniversary Celebration events is not required. We ask that members please register for our ABM so that we can be prepared for the number of members who plan to attend. I sincerely hope to see all of you at our ABM in November and at the many FAD events that weekend.  

    In closing, I hope that you will find inspiration and heartening when considering the longevity and preservation of a beautiful friendship between FAD and FRID.


    Adam Ledo, FRID President

  • 23 Mar 2017 9:44 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    For the last few years, the position of FRID Representative to the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH) has remained vacant. We are thrilled to announce the recent appointment of Gina Halliburton as FRID Representative on the council.  Following is Gina's bio:

    Eugenia C. Halliburton (also known as Gina) was born and raised in Southeastern Michigan where she was very actively involved with the Deaf Community. Gina holds NAD-III certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and is a licensed and ordained minister. The sunny state of Florida became her home in 2015. Her first plan of action was to seek out and learn about the Deaf Community. She became a member of FRID and FAD, volunteered at The Arc, ILRC and her local church. Her other activities include operating a non-profit, Deaf Nations Of the World, Inc., which provides humanitarian services to people who are Deaf and was most recently awarded a gubernatorial appointment as the FRID representative on the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH). Gina will celebrate 31 years of solid marriage in 2017, has 2 children and 5 grandchildren which she looks forward to seeing every chance she gets. She is excited about this season of life, eagerly anticipating making a difference in the lives of deaf people we serve as interpreters of excellence in Florida!

    FCCDHH meets quarterly in various parts of the state, and these meetings are always open to the public. Since not all of us are able to make the meetings, part of Gina's role as FRID Representative will be to provide updates to be disseminated to our members.  Please see Gina's introductory report below, which includes background information on the council.

    Greetings FRID members and associates. My goal is to keep the interpreting community abreast of the workings and events involving the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH). 

    As an introduction, it is the role of the council to serve as an advisory and coordinating body in the state of Florida. The council recommends policies that address the needs of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and late-deafened persons and is authorized to provide technical assistance, advocacy and education. They meet quarterly in various cities throughout the state.

    The FCCDHH has 15 active members representing the following interests:

    • Florida Association of the Deaf
    • Association of Late Deafened Adults
    • Individuals who are Deaf-Blind
    • Deaf Services Center Association
    • Alexander Graham Bell of Florida
    • CART
    • Audiologists
    • Department of Children and Families
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Elder Affairs
    • HLAA-FL
    • Parents of children with hearing loss
    • Florida Registry for Interpreters of the Deaf

    AGENDA ITEMS: The February meeting in Tallahassee covered several agenda items. I have included links to their respective websites wherever possible.

    • Florida Department of Health updates (link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-and-partner-resources/fccdhh/index.html)
    • Presentation regarding the Sunshine Laws (link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=02000299/0286/Sections/0286.011.html)
    • Report of Legislator visit
    • Biennial Report discussion
    • Presentation of Health Early Steps and Newborn Hearing Screening
    • Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (link: http://www.ftri.org/FloridaRelay)
    • Public Service Announcement to heighten awareness regarding deafness


    • November 2 – 5, 2017 FAD 100th Anniversary Celebration 46th Biennial Statewide Conference. (link: http://www.fadcentral.org/)
    The council will meet again on May 11 & 12 in Fort Lauderdale. Stay tuned for more announcements regarding location and the public comment times.

  • 13 Sep 2016 7:22 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Paula Sargent.  According to FRID Historical Documents, she served as FRID President from 1993-1995.  She committed her life to serving the Deaf community and helping to grow interpreters and the interpreting profession.  Her death is a great loss to both the Deaf and interpreting communities here in Florida.  Below is Paula's obituary. 

    SARGENT, Paula Marie passed on at the age of 70 on Monday, September 12th in Miami Lakes, Florida. She is survived by her husband, Charles K. King, her stepson, Charles R. King, her niece and nephew Brooke and Darren Touhy, her aunts, Barbara Dowling and Ruth Kennedy and many cousins. She was predeceased by her brother William Touhy who was a well-known teacher in Dade County Schools for thirty-nine years, her mother Eleanor Schoeberlien and her father Paul Grey.

    Paula was a dedicated and loved teacher who began her career in Hawaii teaching deaf students. In 1984, she moved to Miami, Florida and began teaching sign language at Miami Dade College where she launched a very successful career building the Sign Language Interpreter Training Program. During the 1980s she was the President of the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. She also presented workshops all over the United States helping people master their interpreting skills.

    Paula devoted her entire career to enhancing communication between the Deaf community and Hearing Community. She did this with passion, energy, professionalism, and innovativeness. She spent most of her life doing what she loved and made things better for the thousands of lives she touched. To assess the impact of Paula’s life one need only listen to her friends who are quick to affirm that she has truly enriched their lives. She will be deeply missed.

    In the near future a celebration of her life will be held in Miami Lakes, Florida.

  • 04 Aug 2016 1:37 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

  • 10 Mar 2016 11:10 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    Today our final hopes for passing the Educational Interpreter Bill (as an amendment) vanquished.  It was a disappointing conclusion to months of hard work.  Here is a statement from Terri Schisler, chair of FRID's Interpreter Regulation Committee:

    The Educational interpreter bill has hit a few roadblocks.  The bill stalled in committee last month; however, we were able to find another path to keep the bill active.  We had agreements to allow us to attach our bill to a teacher certification bill by amendment in the Senate.  When the bill came up, the amendment was ruled out of order.  We have exhausted all options this year with the session ending on Friday, March 11.  We will be reviewing our options for resubmitting the bill next year. 

    The FRID Board would like to thank Terri Schisler and the entire Interpreter Regulation Committee for their hard work this year. Also, we want to acknowledge Gary Lieffers for his expertise in helping the bill get as far as it did.  Thank you to the Boards of FAD and FRID for working together on this and other legislation.  Lastly, and certainly not least, thank you to all the members who lent your support for this important work.
  • 07 Mar 2016 8:54 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    Update from Gary Lieffers, FAD/FRID Lobbyist:

    SB432 (the bill we plan to amend to include the language from our bill) was placed on the Special Order Calendar for Wednesday. Now they have to get to it, add our language to it and send it to the House. The House reiterated to me again today, that they would pass it if it came over from the Senate.

    We will have to look at tomorrows printed calendar. The Senate did not get to ANY of the Special Order Bills today, so we are in the back of the line. It could be Thursday before they get to it.

    In any event, this is exciting news that, through SB432, our bill may survive, and pass!

  • 04 Mar 2016 9:07 AM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    Below is an update from Gary Lieffers on the Educational Interpreter Bill (to be amended to SB432/HB189):

    The final two weeks of Session are not for the weak hearted. If you have been trying to keep up with the proceedings, you are probably frustrated with the lack of movement on anything related to getting our bill passed. Rest assured, as each day goes by, it goes faster and faster. The Senate moved on over 80 bills yesterday. During the last few days of Session, bills are known to go from the House to the Senate and back multiple times before there is agreement.

    So, the Senate Special Order Committee has yet to put SB432 on the Special Order Calendar. They will meet again tonight to agenda another set of bills that will be heard on Tuesday of next week. Let me be clear. That is still plenty of time to get our bill attached and passed. If it doesn’t happen until Wednesday, there is still a vast amount of time for our bill to make its way to the governor.

    The Session builds to a crescendo heading to its final day. If you have never witnessed it, perhaps you could be watching next Friday, from the Florida Channel online. It becomes fast and furious.

    The sponsor of SB432 is still confident that his bill will get its floor hearing. I was certainly hoping to get our bill through the process before the real madness, but here we are, and I still believe all is well.

    ….so we wait.

  • 24 Feb 2016 5:29 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    As is typical in the legislative process, our bill has seen its triumphs and failures. Over the last few weeks, the House version of the bill sailed through all of its committees and passed unanimously on the floor of the House of Representatives.  

    On the Senate side, we saw a much slower trajectory.  The Senate bill was not put on the agenda in its second committee, the Education Appropriations Committee (Sen. Gaetz, Chair), and today was the last time this committee will meet for the 2016 legislative session. This would have essentially killed the bill in the Senate.  Gary Lieffers, our lobbyist, did find out that Sen. Gaetz did not have any opposition to our bill, but he could not get it on the agenda with all the other bills that were scheduled. 

    Terri Schisler, FRID's Interpreter Regulation Committee Chair, gave the following report: 

    As I have learned from Gary [FRID/FAD Lobbyist] over the years, there are some options that can be considered in this situation.

    This week Gary has single handedly arranged for our bill to have a second life. There are agreements from both sides to have our bill added (amendment) to another bill that is similar (SB432/HB189, Sen. Hutson/Rep Diaz). All sponsors have agreed and both sides have agreed to pass the bill when it comes up for a vote again. Below is the schedule of events as we expect them to happen.

    1. Senate Appropriations committee, Thurs, 2/25, 10:00 am - CS/SB 432, Sen. Hutson's bill will be heard in its final committee. It is expected to pass without any issues.
    2. Senate Floor, Wed, 3/2 - Fri. 3/4, 10:00 am - CS/SB 432 will be heard for its second reading. At that time, Sen. Hutson will ask for an amendment to insert our educational interpreter bill language. If it passes, it will come back for a third reading (possibly the following day). When it passes the third reading, it will be sent back to the House.
    3. House Floor, Tues. 3/1 - Fri, 3/4, 10:30 am - CS/HB 189 has already passed in the House. Once the Senate bill has its third reading, the House will have to make the same amendment in order for both bills to match. This may take one day to amend it and another day for a final reading.

    The following week is the final week of Session, ending on Friday, 3/11. We want our bill to be completed on both sides by 3/4 to avoid the chaos in the final week. 

    We were very fortunate that there was a bill that is similar in scope that we could ask for an amendment. We were also fortunate that the bill was sponsored by someone who would be open to that amendment. Sen. Hutson's district includes FSDB. It seems this bill has had fortune on its side. Keep your fingers crossed and tune in to see everything happening.

    We all certainly hope that fortune is indeed on our side.  Look for more updates coming your way and start rooting for SB432 and HB189!

  • 18 Feb 2016 5:19 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    At 4:57 PM today, the Florida House of Representatives voted on HB 705.  It passed unanimously (114 YEAS, 0 NAYS).  Click here to see more information on the bill.

    No further movement on the Senate side, but stay tuned for additional updates.

  • 15 Feb 2016 9:45 PM | Adam Ledo (Administrator)

    Please see this update from our Legislation Committee Chair, Terri Schisler:

    We are on the Special Orders for this week in the House. We are the last out of 31 bills submitted by the House Education Committee. That means it may be late on Thursday. Please go to the House webpage and click on the link in the "Session Live" banner at the top of the page to view the session live. The House will be in session starting at 1 pm ET on Wed, 2/17, and Thurs., 2/18.


    The Senate bill is waiting to be put on the agenda in the Senate Education Appropriations Committee. However, if the House bill passes this week, it will be sent over to the Senate for action. That may expedite the Senate committee process for us and have it heard in the Senate very quickly.

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