DNC statement on International Week of the Deaf from DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC Disability Council Chair Tony Coelho and Disability Council Honorary Co-Chair Claudia Gordon

“This year’s International Week of the Deaf theme is ‘Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights.’ As Democrats, access to equitable communication in an inclusive cultural environment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons is essential to our party’s values. Beginning in 2019, we worked with partners to improve communication access for the Democratic primary debates. And in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Democrats have ramped up our efforts to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and live captions for virtual campaign and party events, including our convention.

“The 2020 Democratic National Convention raised the bar on our cultural, accessibility, and inclusion commitment to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community by providing these communication accommodations for all our meetings. In addition, we enlisted a cadre of Certified Deaf Interpreters for the official convention proceedings each evening. Convention programming featuring sign language interpretation and live captions reached over 400,000 views, demonstrating the importance of inclusion and access to increase in participation. 

“During International Week of the Deaf, we are reaffirming our commitment to learn more, do better, and partner with the Deaf community in our ongoing efforts to further equitable and inclusive communication in our engagement. We are working hard to elect Democrats like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who will improve the lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across the country by fighting for them every day.”