Review best practices for effective communication at emergency press briefings. If you saw any press conferences, live news updates, or any COVID-19 related information that did not have any ASL access — 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.
Dear [NAME OF TELEVISION PROGRAM OR TV HOST OR GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL],
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 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 ASL to ALL news and announcements involving COVID-19 messaging. 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.