White House adding sign language interpreter for briefings

The Biden administration is adding a sign language interpreter to its daily press briefings.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the move during Monday’s briefing, and an interpreter could be seen on the White House’s YouTube stream of the event.

Psaki said President Joe Biden “is committed to building an America that is more inclusive, more just and more accessible for every American, including Americans with disabilities and their families.”

Read the rest at https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-donald-trump-coronavirus-pandemic-jen-psaki-kayleigh-mcenany-bd0e8f909eb43bc3b383d0ac67e1b9cc.

Inauguration praised for inclusive messaging, including ASL Pledge of Allegiance

The inauguration of President Joe Biden included several inclusive moments for the disability community, leading to praise from viewers and advocates.

The most talked about moment occurred early in the ceremony: Georgia firefighter Andrea Hall led the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language and in spoken word.

Read the rest at https://www.today.com/health/firefighter-andrea-hall-signs-pledge-allegiance-inauguration-t206318?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma.

Biden-Harris Inauguration in ASL

Watch the 2021 inauguration speeches, performances, and events with an ASL interpreter! You can watch the entire program here or catch selected highlights listed below.

Watch this news summary in ASL about the inauguration from DPAN-TV.

– Thanks to ASDC, https://deafchildren.org/2021/01/biden-harris-inauguration-in-asl.

Note: Other accessible options can be found at https://bideninaugural.org/accessibility including audio description and cued speech.


Delaware covid vaccine groups

Please check with your doctor when your phase/group is called up by the state for more information. It will take time for each group to get the vaccinations and could be a few weeks or months before it is your turn if you want it. The chart is to help you identify where you stand in line for the vaccination and easier identification for the doctor.

Fourth Circuit Rules Deaf Inmate Has the Right to Use Videophone

A North Carolina prison violated a deaf inmate’s First Amendment rights by not allowing him to use a videophone to contact people on the outside, the Fourth Circuit found on Wednesday.

The appellate court reversed a district court decision that had ruled in favor of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in a case brought by Thomas Heyer in 2011.

Read the rest at https://www.courthousenews.com/fourth-circuit-rules-deaf-inmate-has-the-right-to-use-videophone/?amp=1.

Operator to expand training, pay $162,500 to settle lawsuit alleging discrimination

Leisure Care will expand staff training and pay $162,500 in damages, attorneys’ fees and other costs to settle a lawsuit that alleged that the company violated the rights of people who are deaf or hard of hearing by not providing American Sign Language interpreters and not paying for interpreter services, and for steering of families of prospective residents who are deaf or hard of hearing to other senior living communities.

Read the rest of the story at https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/leisure-care-to-expand-training-pay-162500-to-settle-lawsuit-alleging-discrimination.

Note: this applies to all retirement homes so this acts as a reminder to them to be accessible.

Half of deaf children not receiving specialist teaching support in pandemic

One in two deaf children in England are not getting necessary specialist teaching support since returning to school in September, The Independent can reveal, amid warnings that pupils with hearing loss are at risk of falling behind.

Before the pandemic, about two-thirds (67 per cent) of deaf children usually had visits from a teacher of the deaf (ToD), but only half of these pupils (51 per cent) are currently receiving the support they need during the pandemic’s second wave, according to a national poll of parents by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).


Since going into year 2, six-year-old Liam has been asking his mother, Brodie Kingston, when his teacher will be coming in to see him. She’s had to explain that she won’t be able to come to his school – an academy in Stoke-on-Trent where he’s the only deaf child – because of the pandemic; the school told her they were informed that social distancing rules meant she would not be able to visit.

The visits have been stopped across the country for a range of reasons, according to the NDCS, who clarified that they did not have data on how many schools versus local authorities were making the decision. The charity said that several local authorities have said the decision lies with individual schools, while some schools will only allow the teacher to come if it is the only school they’re visiting that day. Additionally, some specialist teachers have not been able to make appointments because they have been self-isolating.

Read the rest of the article at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/half-of-deaf-children-not-receiving-specialist-teaching-support-in-pandemic-b1770053.html.


Note: This applies to the USA also.  Please fight for your IEP rights!


Hospital Bills For Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Are Covered, But No One Tells Them

When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tenn., were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city’s youngest fatalities at that point.

Settles was also uninsured and had just been sent home from an emergency room for the second time, and he was worried about medical bills. An investigation into his death found that, like many uninsured COVID-19 patients, he had never been told that cost shouldn’t be a concern.

Read the rest at https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/22/925942412/hospital-bills-for-uninsured-covid-19-patients-are-covered-but-no-one-tells-them.

NOTE: this applies to all states so please do not wait too long to get help.