Since President Donald Trump began holding coronavirus (COVID-19) novel briefings on television in March, the White House has received requests from lawmakers, the related disability agency. The nation’s oldest state and civil rights organization require an on-screen sign language interpreter.
But the government has yet to agree and allow about 11.5 million people with hearing disabilities in the country to receive information about the epidemic through interpreters.
Sign language if you think my hands are full you should see shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater
In contrast, many state and local leaders have updated coronavirus with interpreters. The administration has not publicly responded to requests for an interpreter to the president’s briefings.
Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning actress who is deaf and has known Trump for more than 30 years – said: “How awful,” including her 2011 appearance as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice. .
“This is not a trivial request,” Matlin, 54, said in an interview with PEOPLE. “It is about [the Americans with Disabilities Act]. It’s about the pandemic. They know very well ”.
Matlin says she no longer talks to 74-year-old Trump, but she “finds it odd” that the president and his staff have refused to act – or even respond to – requests for information. American Sign Language interpreter at presidential pandemic briefings.
The actress said this is not a political issue but a matter of accessibility and safety. “They are taking away our opportunity to participate,” she said. “Unfathomable.”
Recently, disappointment from the nation’s top deaf advocates turned to the court.
The National Deaf Association, together with five deaf people, filed a lawsuit against the White House on August 3.
“The White House’s failure to provide ASL interpreters during COVID-19 briefings, including press conferences, is a violation of the law, “argued the association in its complaint.
During natural disasters and emergencies, district leaders hold important news briefings to inform communities across Central Florida and stand alongside elected officials in the press conference was American Sign Language interpreter who played an important role in informing the community.
Roth is one of the three-language interpreters. For the past five months, she has worked alongside Annette Rodríguez and Jonathan Sánchez. All three are fluent in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
“As a Latino, it makes a lot of sense to be on the screen, be there and be able to represent my community.
He remembers he was never surrounded by deaf when growing up. It was not until he entered nursing school that he met a classmate.
“I was going to Florida Medical Science University Hospital, I met a deaf student there, who then had their own interpreter,” Sánchez said.
The Colombian native said that meeting made him find interest in ASL. Then he decided to drop out of nursing school.
“My family doesn’t even understand the switch, you know? For Latino communities, being a sign language interpreter is not something common or commonly understood, “he said.
For Rodríguez, becoming an ASL interpreter is something she never envisioned for herself. It was during her college years while majoring in Spanish that she found her calling.