Councilman David G. Greenfield has long been committed to ensuring that non-public school students and special education providers receive their fair share from the Department of Education (DOE). After hearing from several parents and providers concerned about a sudden rate cut for Oral Transliterators, Councilman Greenfield immediately reached out to the Department of Education and was able to secure a guarantee from the DOE that rates would remain unchanged for the remainder of the academic year.
Oral Transliterators or Oral Interpreters provide an important service for deaf and hard of hearing students. In the classroom, Oral Transliterators support their students by mouthing and gesturing communication from the classroom teacher to the student. Over the past few weeks, Councilman Greenfield’s office received numerous complaints about the Department of Education’s decision to cut rates for Oral Transliterators from $40 per hour to $20 per hour. This decrease in wages came without prior notification. In addition to the drastic pay cut, Oral Transliterators would have lost out on pay for services they had already provided but hadn’t submitted invoices for. Oral Transliterators were troubled by the across the board decrease in rates because they had agreed to provide services to their students with the understanding that they would receive $40 per hour for the period of services indicated in the child’s related service authorization or RSA. Parents of children with special needs were deeply disturbed by the DOE’s decision because it would make finding suitable providers even more difficult as there is a limited number of qualified Oral Transliterators.
After contacting top DOE officials, Greenfield was told that the DOE agreed that all Oral Transliterators with approved RSA assignments with start dates earlier than March 1, 2015 will continue to receive $40 per hour for the full term of their students’ RSA up to June 30, 2015.
“I am pleased we were able to get the Department of Education to reverse their decision and restore the pay rate of Oral Transliterators. While there is a small number of Oral Transliterators in comparison to other related service providers, this pay cut would have had a large impact on these providers and their families,” said Councilman Greenfield.
Since taking office in 2010, Councilman Greenfield has been a leading advocate for students with special needs and their providers. Most recently, Councilman Greenfield helped approximately one hundred families obtain RSA’s for their children after the DOE failed to assign students to agencies that would provide related services in a timely matter. Parents or providers needing assistance navigating the Department of Education are encouraged to contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704.
(YWN Desk – NYC)