On April 11, 2021, a Black Deaf mother, Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth, who was with her 11-year-old twins, was detained by North Las Vegas Police officers after being pulled over. The video of this police encounter depicts that the officers instructed Dre’s young children to act as interpreters.
In an interview with the Daily Moth, Directors of Eisenberg & Baum’s Deaf Law Center spoke out against the injustice that occurred.
“It’s clearly a violation of the ADA. You cannot use children as interpreters. The reason is because the situation is very serious. You can’t rely on children for this because it can be traumatizing for the children and the parents. You should have a neutral and qualified interpreter providing full access either through VRI or an in-person interpreter.”
“It is also important that police and professionals understand that relying on children — they do not have the capability to translate for any family member. They do not have the vocabulary or are able to explain things properly. This can lead to misunderstandings. It is very risky. So I strongly do not recommend children to be interpreters for family members.”