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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I’m Confused

I’m Confused

I’m confused, not bothered, well maybe a little bit, and I certainly don’t want to offend the hard of hearing, I just do not get why every Governor speaking on his states status dealing with Covid-19 needs a signer in the background.

Are there that many hard of hearing people watching that they need a signer in the background?  I don’t mind, except for I do sometimes get distracted trying to figure out what the signing means.  I am fascinated that anyone could sign as fast as a politician can speak or that anyone can understand the signing.  But still, why do Governors need a signer in the background?

The evening news does not have signing.  There is never a signer in the background for any of the reality TV shows I watch.  Sit Coms on TV do not have a signer.
Almost all TV’s these days have a “caption” option so you can simply read what is being said.  Do hard of hearing people know how to use the “caption” function?  Does the “caption” function work for Governor news conferences?

I remember reading a while back in the aftermath of a big storm where the signer behind a Governor’s news conference was faking it.  He was just moving his fingers, and making up movements to match the Governor’s comments.

No one complained.  It was not even caught for several days.  Apparently no one was actually “listening” to the signer, or maybe there were a few deaf people that just thought the governor was speaking a new language.

There is never a signer behind Trump.  Maybe deaf people just don’t want to know what he is saying.  

I don’t believe there is a signer behind NY Governor Cuomo, but then he is Italian and does much of his talking with his hands already.

I just Googled to confirm that Governor Cuomo did not use a sign language interpreter and apparently he was sued by Americans with Disabilities, so now he does include a signer.

The lawsuit states, violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled residents.

OK, thanks Google, now I have my answer.
I am no longer confused.  I should have known it had something to do with lawyers.


  1. Lol. Your last line sums it up. They probably just can't rely on closed captioning in case someone can't read words. I thought about getting trained in sign language. They have a school here in Phoenix. I looked into it. It was a 2 year program! What I enjoy watching is worship music at church being signed. It is very pretty to watch.


  2. Hmm, interesting... I DO remember that phony signer from years back, too funny. Though to be honest, I used to cry laughing everytime Garrett Morris came out and shouted for the hard of hearing on SNL News! My god, that would NEVER fly today--I miss the 70's :)

  3. It's very distracting. The signer for our governor looks like the female version of him (even dorkier, if that's possible).

  4. Comment by Should Fish More was removed unread, I assume it was mean spirited, I get it, you don't like me, so why don't you go away. You say I am boring so go away.

  5. I thought there was some law about having a signer but I have no idea. I'm confused about it all. So far Gov. Cuomo seems to be the only one to explain things clearly, or at least as clearly as a politician can.

  6. Sometimes I wish there were two interpreters, so I could see if they both do it the same way, or if one is faster, or one takes shortcuts.

    The teacher next door to my classroom was from Spain. She married an American deaf guy, and taught Spanish and American Sign Language. Their son grew up switching (sometimes mid-sentence) among the three languages. She was worried about him for a while, but as he got older, he sorted things out. Which made me feel really dumb, because a toddler spoke three languages, and I was barely getting by with one.

  7. I'm guessing it is because the Covid-19 news is more important than regular news, the message has got to get across to as many people as possible and with so many staying home they might not "hear" about it elsewhere, or read a headline while going to the store.
    We have the same here when our Professor Spurrier (health department)is sending her messages, a signer is in the background. Earlier, there was a signer when the bushfires crisis was happening.

  8. I have no basis for this, but I've always assumed that it's because the COVID updates are in real time, and there's maybe not time to set up the closed captioning. That's just a theory not really based on anything, though. I think it's fascinating to watch the sign language people. I can't imagine moving that fast and making such exaggerated facial expressions.

  9. I do find my self watching the signers as they are usually more interesting and definitely more animated than the speakers.

  10. It's not surprising that it's the lawyers.

  11. I caught a trout on a crawfish once :)

  12. hilarious :)

    when i was little i used to watch a news bulletin in which signer would translate in sign language for deaf people
    i did not know about ,i was this told by my father ,i would stare at lady with amazement ,it was fascinating