EMPOWERING PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS
LC Interpreting Services sets the standard for excellence and efficiency when accommodating the diverse communication and cultural needs of individuals who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing.
SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING
LCIS is a distinguished interpreting agency that specializes in American Sign Language, International Sign, and other sign language modalities. On-site and Remote Sign Language Interpreting Services are available to help organizations fulfill their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
LCIS offers Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, also known as Realtime Captioning, for live events. Remote Captioning Services are also available to facilitate ADA compliant accessibility for virtual events on any platform.
During an emergency, it is important that people know what is happening, when it will happen, and what steps they are expected to take. Traditional information channels leave dangerous gaps in communication— at the first signs of crisis, d/Deaf and hard of hearing people are forgotten.
While America continues to reel in the wake of several large scale emergencies, there is room in the national discussion to address the inadequate crisis services that are available to the d/Deaf community. In times of disaster or crisis, most people turn to a trusted news sources for updates. But, for individuals who are d/Deaf/Hard of hearing, emergency information is delivered infrequently, late, and is often missing critical information — if this news reaches them at all.
GAPS IN ENERGENCY COMMUNICATION
Closed captioned television is already hit or miss, commonly plagued with spelling and contextual errors; but during emergency broadcasts, small inaccuracies can put lives at risk. Furthermore, less people now have televisions in their homes as the internet takes over. This means that more people getting their news online, where captioning for emergency announcements is usually not even provided.
Always seeking solutions, deaf people have time and again established their own makeshift systems for emergency management. Knowing that mainstream channels become unreliable, they utilize their own resources to spread information, share updates, and stay connected through crises. Social media has helped with this cause tremendously. Not only can people share their personal experiences and stay in communication with their families and friends, but on the other side of the coin, it allows non-profits, advocacy groups, and activists to amplify updates, and share needs and urgent requests of marginalized people throughout an emergency or disaster.
Let’s take a look at examples from recent events where the deaf community has jumped in fill in the gaps left by mainstream emergency management:
YouTube user Paul Simmons put together a short clip comparing three different interpreters in Florida during emergency broadcasts to clearly highlight the dangerous inconsistency of services for the deaf community:
*NOTE: This collection is brief and by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add additional resources in the comments!
THE PRIVILEGE OF SAFETY
The d/Deaf/HoH community has developed grassroots systems for crisis management and dissemination of information out of sheer necessity. After being left out and left behind so many times, deaf individuals have been forced to realize that the existing emergency procedures do very little to protect them. These community efforts are impressive, but they’re simply NOT enough.
Deaf people are highly practiced when it comes to navigating major rifts in communication, but in the event of a crisis their entire lives might hinge on this skill set. When you don’t even know there is a natural disaster, or a shooting, or a terrorist threat, how can you properly react? Once your house is gone and you have no cell service, where can you get aid?
In our modern world, with all the technologies available, there is simply no excuse for this lack of access to centralized emergency management. Deaf people have the right to real-time updates from a reliable source. They deserve to know the exact same details that are provided to the hearing population, so they can make informed decisions about their personal safety during times of crisis. Emergency information should not be a privilege granted only to certain citizens.