Inauguration Day was more accessible than ever, but there’s still a ways to go

Inauguration Day was more accessible than ever, but there’s still a ways to go


Captain Andrea Hall speaking and signing the Pledge of Allegiance during the presidential inauguration. | Photo by Erin Schaff / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Firefighter Andrea Hall put accessible communication front and center at the presidential inauguration today when she led the Pledge of Allegiance in both spoken English and Signed English. The inaugural committee also hosted several separate accessible live streams of the event on its YouTube page, including one with audio description, one with live captions and American Sign Language interpretation, and one with Cued Speech transliteration (the use of hand shapes to signal speech sounds).

But despite those efforts,many deaf and hard of hearing viewers still found the inauguration inaccessible. Most broadcast stations didn’t have an ASL interpreter on-screen and used automated captions, which are notoriously inaccurate. In what some…

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