Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Louisiana's Deaf Action Center receives $1.4 million in stimulus money


Louisiana receive $1.4 million on March 30. It's a portion of $160 million in federal stimulus funding being distributed to several states.

The Pelican State's share is headed to the Deaf Action Center of Louisiana. The Shreveport center will use the money to purchase more than 80 Video Remote Interpreters (VRI). VRIs allows interpreting to take place from another location.

David Hylan is the center's director. He says VRIs will be beneficial in places like banks and medical facilities.

"That deaf person can walk into that bank and talk to a bank official that has VRI and be able to instantaneously speak with that bank officer," says Hylan. "So no pre-arranging, no waiting."

The Deaf Action Center of Louisiana says the hearing impaired can pay $55/hour for an interpreter, which are usually needed for at least four hours. With VRI the hearing impaired will pay about $2.50/minute for the service. The average time needed is about ten minutes.