MSF grant program to help training sites hire sign-language interpreters

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A woman completing the sign for "rainbow" in this 2009 photo. The National Motorcycle Safety Fund is making grant money available for sign-language interpreters to sign for students during Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes. (PHOTO BY USER RODASMITH VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.)
A woman completing the sign for “rainbow” in this 2009 photo. The National Motorcycle Safety Fund is making grant money available for sign-language interpreters to sign for students during Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes. (PHOTO BY USER RODASMITH VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.)
  • MSF-recognized Rider Training Sites regularly receive requests to accommodate students with physical disabilities
  • NMSF to make grants available to help defray cost of sign-language interpreters

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 21, 2015 – The National Motorcycle Safety Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable community organization created in 1980 to augment the work of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, has created a new grant program to help rider training sites cover the costs of hiring sign-language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing students.

MSF expects MSF-recognized Rider Training Sites across the nation to make reasonable accommodations for people with physical disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws. A common accommodation is for a training site to hire, often at its own expense, sign-language interpreters.

There are many deaf and hard of hearing car drivers and motorcyclists on the road today. To compensate, drivers and motorcyclists typically employ risk-reduction strategies such as Search/Evaluate/Execute (SEE), maintaining longer following distances, making better use of peripheral vision, and checking their mirrors more frequently.

The 15-hour MSF Basic RiderCourse is the premier research-based novice motorcyclist training curriculum in the U.S. and consists of one 5-hour classroom session and two 5-hour hands-on riding sessions. Due to course length and depth of instruction, two sign-language interpreters are generally needed because a single interpreter is not able to work nonstop for each session. The MSF already pays 100 percent of interpreter costs in the states in which it directly manages the training program. However, the NMSF would like to ease the financial burden on MSF-recognized training sites in the other states by offering a grant for each class in which interpreters were used to cover the actual cost of the interpreters, up to $750. The NMSF has set aside a pool of $15,000 in funding for the next 12 months for these grants.

Training sites simply need to fax the class completion report, the interpreter agency’s invoice, and the name of the deaf or hard-of-hearing students to MSF at (949) 727-4217, and MSF will send a check to the appropriate site representative. Payment will be made whether or not the student passes the course. This offer does not apply to training sites that already receive reimbursements from their state’s rider training program office.

The NMSF supports the work of MSF in the areas of research, curriculum development, delivery of rider-training courses, and community-outreach programs in order to help eliminate crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The NMSF relies on generous contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations to further its mission. For more information about the National Motorcycle Safety Fund or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit www.nmsfund.org.

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