Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bowie legislation to make emergency communications accessible to all Arizonans is signed into law

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Sean Bowie (LD-18) released the following statement on the signing into law of his Senate Bill 1296.

The law established by SB 1296 requires state and local governments to ensure communications with persons with disabilities are equal to those without disabilities, including online and emergency communications. As part of this, the law requires those governments have a protocol in place to have licensed American Sign Language interpreters available to translate emergency communications to the public in emergency situations.

Senator Sean Bowie:

“Having access to critical information in an emergency is vitally important, and having a standard in place for professional interpretation and captioning is long overdue. SB 1296 will help make sure that life-saving information is available for all Arizonans. A huge thank you to the stakeholders who worked with me to craft this legislation, which included the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Ability 360, the Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. I also want to extend thanks to my legislative colleagues for their support and to Governor Ducey for signing this bill into law.”

Sarah Kader, staff attorney with the Arizona Center for Disability Law:

“The Arizona Center for Disability Law applauds the passage of SB 1296 which will improve access to emergency communications for people with disabilities. Given that people with disabilities and especially those who are deaf and hard of hearing have historically been excluded from accessible alerts and instructions during emergencies, this law is an important step towards improved access in the State of Arizona.”

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