Deaf Community Feels Overlooked in Debates

Deaf Community Feels Overlooked in Debates

 There has never been a sign language interpreter for a US presidential debate.

Erin Rosenfeld was one of the millions of Americans who tuned in to watch the first presidential debate last month but quickly turned it off after struggling to keep up with the closed captions, Fox News reports.

“I just could not understand what was being said — there were no ASL [American Sign Language] interpreters on the screen,” Rosenfeld said. Closed captioning wasn’t that helpful: “It is really delayed and often full of mistakes.”

“I just left the room because I was not gaining anything from the debate,” she told Fox News.

More than ten million Americans are deaf or have significant trouble hearing, but there has never been a sign language interpreter for a live presidential debate shown on television, according to Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a nonprofit organization pushing for equality and equal access.

 

How To Qualify