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Letter: Lack of accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing Nevadans

Letter: Lack of accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing Nevadans

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Editor:

The Nevada Commission for Persons who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing is writing to you and other news media outlets across the state on behalf of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens of Nevada. As a Governor-appointed advisory body the Commission is deeply concerned about the lack of accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nevadans during public broadcast. The Commission continues to receive numerous complaints regarding the lack of visibility of interpreters during press briefings by the Governor and/or inadequate use of closed captioning services.

Many complaints have mentioned that interpreters are not within camera view, or that captions are not provided on screen. Unfortunately, this has perpetuated a barrier that denies the target population from having access to vital public safety information. Ultimately, by not providing adequate accommodations this is a direct violation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and places Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals at a disadvantage when attempting to stay informed by denying them suitable access to important information.

We urge media outlets to be cognizant of the needs of others by ensuring accommodations such as interpreters that are available and always in plain sight on the screen. Additionally, for Nevadans who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and rely on captioning to access information, we urge you to ensure real time captioning services that are overlaid on every broadcast.

The vision of the Nevada Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is that all Nevada residents who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or are persons with speech disabilities, along with their families and professionals who support them, have timely access to information, effective communication, education, and services that promote choice and independence. Thank you for your assistance in making our vision a reality.

Eric Wilcox, Chair

Nevada Commission for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of HearingĀ 

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