WSVN reports that members of Florida's deaf community are demanding an apology from the county after Greene's signing, saying his interpreting was risky and endangered people's lives. Jason Hurdich, a Clemson University professor and expert in American Sign Language, tells the Bradenton Herald he couldn't understand 95% of what a deaf interpreter was signing during the September 8 briefing from the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center.
"I kinda panicked for a minute, then I just knew I had to provide a transcript of what was being said for the hearing impaired", he said. The interpreter - a lifeguard named Marshall Greene - apparently has a deaf brother. The interpreter started signing words like "pizza, monster and bear" during an evacuation order for Hurricane Irma. He was one of several people who, while seeing the event unfold, began to type what county officials were saying in the Facebook comments section so those who could not hear them could be informed.
County leaders told WFLA that they were, "in a pinch", and needed an interpreter for the deaf.
Charlene McCarthy, the owner of VisCom, an interpreting service that the county usually uses, said she was not contacted about the press conference.
She was shocked when she saw the press conference on television.
She told WFLA: 'It was horribly unnerving for me.
However, she claims, she was never called to help.
So, now the question is - why wasn't someone called in who was a certified interpreter?
"He can't be expected to communicate something he doesn't know", his father said.
McCarthy said she was not given any explanation about the identity of the man signing at the briefing, or why the county chose to use him as an interpreter during the briefing.
County leaders have faced the brunt of the criticism for failing to organise an interpreter despite days of weather warnings. The interpreter's family said he was asked by his bosses to step in and help during a crucial time.
The death community in Manatee County has asked for an apology.