MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin state representative was finally able to get a haircut now that a new bill passed. State Rep. Jonathon Brostoff had vowed not to cut his hair until a Deaf Rights bill passed in Wisconsin.
It took a year and a half but the bill is now about to become law. So he is cutting his hair.
The snip of the scissors means a big relief for people like Kayleigh Kwasny. The East Side business owner is deaf. Before this bill passed she said simple things like going to the doctor or hospital would be stressful.
“There is time when I need surgery and the communication was not good. Sometimes I would have to write or the nurse would be very nervous talking to me,” said Kwasny.
Brostoff said under the old system there was no way to make sure interpreters were properly assigned to the right needs. An example that made national news is a low level interpreter was brought in during Hurricane Irma in Florida.
The man signed ‘pizza’ and ‘bear monster’ instead of warning of the approaching storm. Brostoff said Wisconsin’s new system would rank interpreters by skill levels.
“We wanted to make sure the tiered system was put into place and the more appropriate interpreting services given for those specific situations and offering more protection for the deaf community,” said Brostoff.
Plus, without the new certifications deaf interpreters had been leaving Wisconsin. Now they hope more will want to work here.
“I think the bill will kind of help deaf people relax,” said Kwasny. It also gave Brostoff a whole new look.
“I feel better already. Thanks everyone. Thanks for all the help,” said Brostoff.