OPLIN, Mo. – A shortage of sign language interpreters is making it tougher to some school districts to fill those positions.

The Joplin School District recently hired its newest sign language interpreter, bringing the total to three for the district’s four deaf or hard-of-hearing students. School leaders are now using a contract company out of Florida to find the interpreters, a step that’s necessary they say due to the lack of qualified applicants.

“Sign language interpreters, that is a position that I think frequently causes issues in school districts because there’s such highly trained individuals.”

Meghan Klosterman, Joplin Special Education Director

The new interpreter and all other Joplin students and staff will go back to school on August 15th.