The Vermont Interpreter Referral Service (VIRS) iscelebrating ten years of providing interpreting services for Vermonters.The Vermont Interpreter Referral Service was founded October 1,1992. Ithas grown steadily as awareness of the Service, its effectiveness, and theimplications of the landmark federal legislation, Americans withDisabilities Act (ADA), also enacted in 1992, have grown.VIRS provides state-wide interpreter and CART referral services forAmerican Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreting assignments in settingssuch as governmental, mental health, medical, legal, employment,educational, civil and recreational. VIRS serves all Vermonters, bothhearing and deaf, in need of securing a sign language interpreter.VIRS also provides advocacy for deaf clients, training opportunities forinterpreters and serves as an informational resource throughout the state.Initially established with funding from the Vermont Division of VocationalRehabilitation as a pilot project, the Service is currently funded with agrant from the Department of Aging and Disabilities and with fundsgenerated from finder¹s fees.Rene¹ Pellerin, Coordinator of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing,says, “Without question, VIRS enables a far more efficient and effectivesystem of locating interpreters for assignments throughout the state ofVermont. Without them, it would be a time consuming task for individualagencies and businesses to obtain interpreting services.”In honor of the tenth anniversary, and marking yet another leap forward inthe evolution of communications access within the state, VIRS is pleased to announce the official launch of a new comprehensive website,at: www.virs.org(link is external), providing information online for businesses,organizations, interpreters, deaf and hard of hearing people as well asinteractive options for requesting interpreters.A special anniversary event, open to the public, is scheduled for May 3,2003 at the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 60 AustineDrive, Brattleboro. Additional details will be announced closer to thedate.