US Court Orders White House to Provide ASL Interpreters

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The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and 5 Deaf Americans had filed a lawsuit against the White House and President Donald Trump to provide in-frame ASL interpreters in all its media briefings. US District Judge James E. Boasberg has now ordered the White House to provide ASL interpreters for all its COVID-19 briefings. The Judge wrote a 25-page opinion which stated that the NAD has successfully shown that the White House has broken the law by not providing ASL interpreters. Governors of all the 50 states in the USA and local cities provide in-frame ASL interpreters but the White House does not. The Judge supported NAD and said that Deaf people are suffering because they do not have access to information about personal safety, public health and the economy.

The White House had said that they provide subtitles and transcripts in all their videos so they are not breaking the law. But the Judge did not agree with them. The Judge agreed with NAD’s argument that there are Deaf people who understand very little english. There are Deaf individuals who rely on ASL and they will not be able to understand subtitles and transcripts. The Judge has said there will be another hearing in the future so the White Houseand NAD can discuss the details of how to provide interpreters. The judge said it has made the order but is allowing time for the enforcement till the specifics are cleared out.

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