Friday, September 11, 2020

Judge: White House may have to include interpreters at coronavirus briefings

The White House may have to provide ASL interpretation at its televised news briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge has ruled. The National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit over the issue on behalf of five deaf people. A hearing next Thursday will deal with the issue of how to implement the order. 
The US government had argued that ASL interpretation isn't needed because there is closed captioning on livestreams of the updates and videos of past briefings with transcripts of the briefings. In his ruling Judge James Boasberg wrote: 
Closed captioning and transcripts may constitute a reasonable accommodation under some circumstances, but not here. As another court explained in rejecting a state government’s similar arguments, these “accommodations — however well-intentioned — simply do not provide ‘meaningful access in the circumstances [presented] here.’ 
You can read the judges ruling here.