Deaf Community Faces Access Issues To Vital Government Updates

Summarized by Matthew Dehler, staff writer

Over the past few months, receiving current news has grown more and more important. From the ever-present threat of the Coronavirus, to more current events, we need to keep ourselves informed on what’s going on in the world. However, even after all this time, the government has still been slow to react to the needs of those with hearing loss, and has often outright failed to accommodate those needs.

For example, when Florida was first hit with the Coronavirus, several counties failed to give closed captioning altogether. As of Friday, June 12th, they still haven’t provided any sort of ASL interpreters for their updates. Fortunately, citizens are coming together to send letters and protests to the managers of these updates to demand interpreters, but so far no consistent solution has been established. Many Floridians agree this is a travesty of miscommunication – for example, according to University of Florida professor Stephen Hardy, “We need to educate our local, state, and federal governments to start providing communication access to ensure that everyone is informed… I would encourage their government to set up a plan for all kinds of disasters and create a list of people who will be involved to provide assistance to the disabled community.”

For more information on the situation in Florida and the ways people are trying to help, the full story can be found at

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