Historic Win: White House Ordered To Provide Sign Language Interpreters for COVID-19 Briefings

Today, a  federal district court ordered the White House to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, live streamed on its website (whitehouse.gov/live), for all public briefings held by the President, Vice President, and Press Secretary that address the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order requires that an ASL interpreter be provided at any coronavirus briefing held on White House grounds or at any federal agency. The Court has also ordered the White House to make the interpreter feed available to all TV networks in a manner that will allow those networks to show the interpreter in their live feeds.  The injunction will take effect on October 1, 2020. 

The court had previously issued an opinion on September 9, 2020, which found that the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and five individual deaf plaintiffs were entitled to relief in some form. The court found that the plaintiffs had the right to compel the White House to provide ASL interpreters for all of its press briefings that cover the coronavirus pandemic.  The court then held another hearing on September 17, 2020 to discuss how to set up the process to have ASL interpreters during White House press briefings. 

NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum said, “Sign language and accurate captioning are both essential and crucial to ensuring all deaf and hard of hearing people are well informed and are able to make better decisions on how to stay safe from the pandemic. The judge’s order sets a great precedent to achieve this goal of full accessibility.” 

Read more at https://www.nad.org/2020/09/23/historic-win-white-house-ordered-to-provide-sign-language-interpreters-for-covid-19-briefings.


Delaware Telecommunication Relay Services Advisory Committee Meeting (Sept. 28, 2020)

Delaware TRS logo with red lighthouse in center
The Delaware Telecommunication Relay Services Advisory Committee Meeting will be on zoom. 

Date:       Monday, September 28, 2020

Time:      10:00 am to 12 noon 

  Location:    Virtual Meeting (Zoom)  – see information bottom 

Sign language interpreters and Relay Conference Captioning (real-time captioning) will be provided.

Zoom Link Instructions:
You will need to register using the Zoom link below ahead of time.   When you register, you will receive an email with the link from Karyn Menck (from Tennessee Captioning).  Karyn will provide the open captioning during the Zoom call. 

Register in advance for this meeting (to get the zoom link to join the meeting):

Note: If you need any handouts like agenda, bylaws, minutes.  Please contact Loretta Sarro for that or Feta Fernsler (via contact us page)

– Thanks to Loretta Sarro, Delaware Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing.

Under counting and budget impacts (US Census)

Summary below (video is captioned above):

Lack of $$$ for

  1. Schools
  2. Buses/transportation
  3. Roads
  4. Representation in congress
  5. Food Stamps
  6. Consumer protection laws – environment, insurance,
  7. National Guard
  8. Emergency fundings – i.e. hurricanes, etc
  9. Vocational Rehab
  10. Medicaid/Medicare
  11. Broadband expansion funds
  12. Rental Assistance programs
  13. Police/Fire funding
  14. Social workers and emergency services

Covid19 has resulted in fewer census employees tasked at doing door to door work. 

Delaware is @63% counted now.  Worst is Sussex County at 51.5% while rest @67%

Deadline to do your census is September 30, 2020.  Go to my2020census.gov.  ** Your information is private per law and no one else can access your personal information even the US President cannot see it. **

Links references:


“Further, self-response rates for 2020 lag behind the rates for 2010 in most states. According to U.S. Census data, the overall self-response rate in Delaware is 62.4%, with New Castle County at 67.8%, Kent County at 67.2%, and Sussex County with the lowest response rate at 51.5%.” from https://news.delaware.gov/2020/09/03/attorney-general-jennings-fights-trump-administrations-attempts-to-reduce-census-efforts



Judge Orders White House to Include Sign Language in Covid Briefings

The Trump administration may have violated federal law by not including American Sign Language interpretation in televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in Washington ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted temporary relief that will require the White House to include in-frame ASL interpretation, already adopted by the governors of all 50 states in their Covid-19 video broadcasts, pending final judgment in the case.

The judge found “there is little debate” that deaf Americans would suffer irreparable harm — the threshold to warrant injunctive relief — if denied timely access to critical information on the pandemic.

Read the rest at https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-orders-white-house-to-include-sign-language-in-covid-briefings/amp.

COVID-19 (Cornavirus) ASL Videos and additional resources

Below are some additional ASL resources on Covid-19 (Cornavirus) in addition to those already posted here at DAD which can be found doing a simple search for covid – http://www.delawaredeaf.org/?s=covid

From Minnesota Dept. of Health:
From PA Dept. of Health:
From Wisconsin Dept. of Health:
COVID-19 communication card (from Wisconsin)
COVID-19 communication card (from Massachusetts)
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/covid-19-card (General Info and other card formats)
NAD (National Association of the Deaf)
CDC (Centers for Disease Control) ASL Videos