Earlier this year a blizzard hit the east coast of USA and emergency announcements were posted not only on TV, but also online. Most of TV announcements were captioned and also sign language interpreters were included. However, most of online videos with announcements were NOT captioned. The majority of deaf and hard of hearing people does not know or understand sign language and relies on captioning.
When it comes to emergency preparedness as it happened during the hurricane Sandy that hit NYC area in October, it is important that deaf and hard of hearing people are informed via visual means such as captioning and sign language interpreting. So I applaud Bloomberg for using a professional sign language interpreter during his emergency announcements on TV along with captioning.
How can you handle emergency situations when it comes to announcing them to deaf and hard of hearing people? How can it be more effective? How can emergency workers communicate with people in other ways than using voice?
Kelly Rogel wrote a post, Access to Information: Oklahoma City Bombing, about her experience as a deaf person during Oklahoma bombing and being left out when it comes to accessing information during a time of national emergency. It is something that many people do not think of.