In what ABC News reports as a “first” the White House will provide a sign-language interpreter for President Biden’s presidential address to Congress on Wednesday.

Related article: White House Uses ASL Interpreter During COVID-19 Briefing for ‘First Time,’ WJLA Reports

The interpreter will work out of a room separate from the president, and will appear in a small box alongside the stream of Biden’s remarks, ABC reports; this can be viewed via a live stream on the White House’s website and social media channels. The Biden White House has provided live ASL interpretation for its daily news conference, COVID-19 briefings, and presidential and vice-presidential remarks.

It is unclear whether the ASL interpretation will appear on TV, as networks often broadcast a different version of the address, ABC says. Howard A. Rosenblum, the chief executive of the National Association of the Deaf, is quoted in the article as saying that TV stations should make interpretation available in their broadcasts.

“We commend the White House for taking steps to ensure accessibility for all who are watching, including deaf and hard-of- hearing people,“ he said. “We urge all TV stations carrying the broadcast to properly display the interpreter in-frame or via an appropriately sized picture-in-picture inset without obscuring graphics so that deaf and hard-of-hearing people can access what is being said.”

According to ABC, outside organizations such as Deaf Professional Arts Network, or D-PAN, have provided ASL interpretation for White House events in recent years, which have included the 2016 and 2020 presidential debates and the last two State of the Union addresses.

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Source: ABC News

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