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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Lyman

Great News!

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

White House hires full-time ASL Interpreters!

I have been a professional interpreter in Florida for over 30 years. During that time, I have had the opportunity to interpret on livestream TV for several state officials, including our governor Rick Scott, in preparation for major storms from Katrina to Matthew.

Yes, I was in that little box on the right-hand side of live TV!

Over the years, I have seen many important livestream broadcasts such as life-threatening storms, COVID, press brief, and news from the president, but it has always been hit or miss when, or if, an American Sign Language Interpreter would be present to interpret for the Deaf community. I can’t imagine the frustration they must have experienced when they tried to follow the updates of important information. You may think that closed caption should be sufficient, but have you ever turned off the volume to your TV just to try to read the closed caption?

Most of the time the message makes no sense AT ALL!

Too many words are either misspelled or missing all together; It’s a mess!

For many years, the Deaf community has pushed for equal access to important live broadcast news. After advocates sued to get live ASL interpretation during COVID-19 briefings,

it seems their voices have finally been heard! The Biden administration has recently hired their very first-ever official full-time Deaf and non-deaf ASL Interpreters as members of their staff!

Hopefully, this will set the standard for other government officials to follow.

It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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