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Ohio court leader pushes plan for foreign and sign language interpreters

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court is taking steps to ensure that non-English speakers and people who are hearing impaired have access to foreign and sign language interpreters.

The court is making a free telephone line available to courts to provide round-the-clock interpreting in more than 200 languages.

The phone service will cost up to $50,000 a year with the expense covered by the Supreme Court's budget.

New court rules taking effect in January require courts to provide certified sign language and foreign language interpreters when available, and a newly developed court brochure, video and public awareness campaign will provide judges guidance on finding interpreters.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said Thursday the efforts are ensuring equal access in courtrooms.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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