Letter Template To Use For Any Live Press Briefings Without Clear ASL Access

Did you try to watch a Governor or other official talk about COVID-19 on TV but there was no ASL interpreter? Demand that they provide an ASL interpreter for all future press on TV. Write to inform those who did the announcement that this is not ok! The NAD has developed a letter template for anyone to use in this situation.


I watched your announcement on [INSERT DATE and TIME] about the coronavirus (COVID-19) but I could not understand it because you failed to include clear and unobstructed American Sign Language (ASL) access. Please review best practices for effective communication at emergency press briefings. Information shared about this serious disease outbreak must be made accessible at the time of the release, not afterwards. Failing to make this information available in ASL means that deaf people are not getting the same important information about health and safety.

I am asking that you add clear and unobstructed ASL to ALL news and announcements involving COVID-19 messaging. This means having a qualified interpreter stand next to the person delivering the message and having both people clearly in the picture with any chyrons and captioning below them as not to obstruct signing. This is not only the right thing to do but is also required by federal law, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If you’re not sure how to get started, contact the local [INSERT Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing or Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing], [INSERT State Association for the Deaf website], or [INSERT trusted interpreting agency you recommend].

Like everyone else, I am concerned about this outbreak but often am the last to know or have no access. Please include qualified ASL interpreters in any video updates about COVID-19.

Thank you,

CC: [email protected]