Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007 | I just saw Emily Alpert‘s article “Emergency En Espanol,” and, like her, I applaud the local media for including Spanish translation of essential emergency information. It has been much harder, however, for us here at Deaf Community Services to get the same accommodation for information in sign language for persons who are deaf. Many sign language users are not fluent in written English, so captions, although excellent for some people, are of little or no help for others. County OES finally included our DCS-provided interpreter at all press conferences and briefings, but local TV stations varied in how well they used camera angles to consistently include the interpreter. We at DCS have provided sign language interpreters to deaf persons at Qualcomm and the other major evacuation centers around the clock, but there is no way our efforts can match what the media can do. The cost of multiple interpreters around the clock is also a significant problem for us, and we would appreciate any financial help readers can give us. Many hours of service were volunteered by interpreters, but we cannot serve as needed with volunteer help alone. Don’t forget your family members, friends, and neighbors who are deaf.

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