Guidelines on Access to Information in National Sign Languages During Emergency Broadcasts

Guideline WFD WASLI

March 19, 2020


More than 70 million deaf people throughout the world have the right to access information in their national sign languages on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The World Federation of the Deaf and World Association of Sign Language Interpreters release these joint Guidelines on Providing Access to Public Health Information in National Sign Languages during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Key points: 

1) In all situations it is critical that professional sign language interpreters or translators with national-level qualifications are hired. 

2) Information should be available through all media channels and on all platforms. If the sign language version is only available through some channels (i.e. narrowcast), or only through web-based platforms, there is a risk that deaf people will miss out on crucial updates at critical times. 

3) An interpreter should be physically present and visible on camera alongside whomever is speaking in making new announcements. This will ensure deaf people can access information through a variety of media outlets as other members of the public do.

Read more
In this document we outline best practices for providing sign language access in different contexts.

Special thanks to Maya de Wit and Jemina Napier for working on this statement and Alda Batory for the images.