Inclusion for Online Services

Reminder - Remember Inclusion of Others for Online Services

Dave J. Coyne, Ed.D. Language Access and Inclusion Director dcoyne@hasa.org

How are we doing? I mean, as a society, how are we doing with connecting people to their worlds during a pandemic?

I can share that since COVID-19 began, the vision that all populations deserve to understand and be understood drives CIRS team members to do their best every day. CIRS provides interpreters and online American Sign Language (ASL) classes as efforts to support those who use our services and to improve language access for those who use sign language to communicate. The integration of these services does not occur naturally and should not happen haphazardly; integrating language access needs to be purposeful and your help is needed.

Since we cannot assume that the inclusion of others who use sign language to communicate will occur naturally, I ask you to reach out to those running meetings, town hall sessions, and online events that do not have ASL interpreters and suggest they provide sign language interpreting services and to adequately advertise that interpreters will be provided to include more people.    

CIRS has been paving the way for language access for over 30 years by providing on-site interpreters, and in 2020 online services have become common practice. Customers request remote interpreters and virtual sign language classes to ensure the safety of participants during this pandemic; we are honored to support and stand by them in their efforts to include others. 

It is a great comfort for us to see that so many companies and individuals incorporate more than one language when working with the public. These efforts show how minority languages are being valued and being paid respect. How do I think we are doing? I think we can do better, together, to normalize solutions to language barriers and connect people to their worlds. 

Be safe and be kind,
Dave

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