Government Meeting Accommodations and Interpreter Services 

2017 Assembly Bill 344

This legislation would establish a process for individuals with special needs, including non-English speakers, those in need of sign language interpreters, and those who need materials in alternate formats to access the resources necessary to participate in public hearings and other meetings.

During the last legislative session, the Assembly Committee on Urban and Local affairs held a hearing at which dozens of non-English speakers came to testify, but no plan was in place to provide interpreters. Although some members of the public in attendance stepped up to help, there was a clear barrier for non-English speakers to participate. The bill would break down language barriers and provide accommodations for people with disabilities to better enable all of Wisconsin’s residents to access their government.  The proposed bill would ensure translation and interpretation services needed by members of the public are provided at committee meetings of the State Legislature and would establish a clear process for requesting an interpreter or meeting materials in alternate formats. The bill would also require all legislative meeting notices to have a standardized statement in English, Spanish and Hmong regarding access to these services.

Click here to view the status of this legislation.