Friday, 17 November 2017

American Sign Language interpreter assists during local press conferences

Melanie Poff. Courtesy photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. – When the Redwood fire was raging through the community, Mendocino County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent Becky Jeffries, working under the direction of Superintendent Warren Galletti during his medical leave, worked quickly and efficiently to identify MCOE resources to aid in disaster relief and recovery.

In addition to providing school districts with additional counselors and school supplies, MCOE offered the interpretation services of one of its American Sign Language, or ASL, interpreters, Melody Poff, for the regular press conferences held by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Poff, who has been an ASL educational interpreter for more than 20 years, was happy to offer her interpretation skills, so deaf people could benefit from the information being shared through the sheriff’s office.

Generally, Poff works in the classroom with deaf students, but because classes had been canceled, she was available to put her disaster response interpreter training to good use.

Although she has interpreted for the National Weather Service during a live television interview to inform the deaf community about tsunami drills in Humboldt County, this was one of the few times Poff had used her ASL interpreting skills outside the classroom.

“Becky called and asked if I could help the Sheriff’s Office, and I was happy to do so,” she said.

Although MCOE was willing to pay for Poff’s time while she assisted the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, her services were eventually covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through an agency called Communique.

Galletti, who was working from home to connect with state officials during the fires, said, “I am so grateful to Melody and all the MCOE employees who stepped up to assist however they could to help those affected by the fire. We have a great staff and I’m proud to work with them.”
17 Nov 2017;
02:00PM - 08:00PM
Christmas Boutique
17 Nov 2017;
07:00PM - 10:00PM
Andre Williams performs at Soper Reese
18 Nov 2017;
08:00AM - 11:00AM
Lucerne Alpine Senior Center monthly breakfasts
18 Nov 2017;
10:00AM - 04:00PM
Christmas Boutique
19 Nov 2017;
10:00AM - 01:00PM
Rock of Faith Church
21 Nov 2017;
09:00AM -
Board of Supervisors
21 Nov 2017;
06:00PM -
Lakeport City Council
22 Nov 2017;
06:00PM - 08:00PM
Rock of Faith Church Bible study
23 Nov 2017;
06:00PM -
Clearlake City Council
26 Nov 2017;
10:00AM - 01:00PM
Rock of Faith Church
November 2017
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