Federal judge orders Cuomo to use sign language interpreter
May 12, 2020Updated: May 13, 2020 4:17 a.m.
A federal judge ordered Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday to begin offering ASL interpretation alongside his daily coronavirus briefings.Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
ALBANY – A federal judge has ordered Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to feature live American Sign Language interpretation at his daily coronavirus briefings that are broadcast on cable television networks and live-streamed on the internet.
The preliminary injunction granted by a federal judge late Monday followed months of advocacy from disability and deaf rights advocates, who argued in a lawsuit filed April 29 in Manhattan that Cuomo was the only governor who did not offer some form of live ASL interpretation at his daily coronavirus task force briefings.
Cuomo’s office began providing a sign language interpreter on the governor’s website in late March, following criticism from deaf viewers and inquiries from reporters, but the new order will require ASL interpretation to be broadcast “in-frame” on cable networks by Wednesday.
In a follow-up opinion on Tuesday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni wrote that deaf New Yorkers “have been effectively, if unintentionally, excluded [...]