Fifty-Third Legislature, Second Regular Session




government communications; emergency response interpreters




Requires the state and local governments to ensure emergency communications with persons with disabilities are equal to those without disabilities. Establishes a protocol to secure an emergency response interpreter for emergency communications.




The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and later amended with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 12101). The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures people with disabilities have the same opportunity to participate in employment opportunities, purchase goods and services and participate in government programs and services.


The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Commission) acts as a bureau of information to the deaf and the hard of hearing, state agencies and institutions providing services to the deaf and the hard of hearing, local agencies of government and other public or private community agencies and programs (A.R.S. 36-1944). Interpreting is defined as translating or transliterating of English concepts to any necessary specialized vocabulary used by a consumer or the translating of a consumer specialized vocabulary to English concepts (A.R.S. 36-1941).


There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.




1.      Requires the state and local governments to ensure that its communications with persons with disabilities, including online and emergency communications, are equally as effective as communications with persons without disabilities.


2.      Requires the state and local governments to take steps to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to communicate with, receive information from and convey information to the state and local governments.


3.      Requires the state and local governments to provide auxiliary aids and services when needed to communicate effectively with persons with communication disabilities.



4.      Requires the state and local governments to establish a protocol to secure a licensed emergency response interpreter to interpret the following:

a)      emergency communications that are presented live to the media for broadcast; and

b)      emergency communications delivered through a live online communication, including official government statements or press conferences relating to an emergency situation.


5.      Stipulates the state or local government is not prevented, in an emergency situation, from communicating to the public if an emergency response interpreter is unavailable.


6.      Becomes effective on the general effective date.

Prepared by Senate Research

February 12, 2018