Judge orders Andrew Cuomo to add ASL interpreter to COVID-19 briefings


Judge orders Andrew Cuomo to add sign-language interpreter to coronavirus briefings

Jon Campbell
New York State Team

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ALBANY – A federal judge has ordered New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to add sign-language interpretation to his daily televised coronavirus briefings by Wednesday or offer an official explanation for why he cannot.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of Manhattan issued a preliminary injunction Monday requiring Cuomo’s office to “immediately implement in-frame (American Sign Language) interpretation during his daily press briefings,” which have been aired by state and national news networks for more than two months.

By Tuesday afternoon, Caproni pushed the order back a day after the state claimed “technical issues” prevented them from offering interpretation in the feed beamed out to television stations Tuesday.

Now, Cuomo must add sign-language interpretation to the feed Wednesday or file an affidavit with Caproni explaining the issues preventing it from happening. 

Caproni’s injunction came after Disability Rights New York, an advocacy group, filed a lawsuit last month claiming Cuomo was violating the rights of deaf people by failing to provide an interpreter on the television feed.

The lawsuit sought an order requiring Cuomo provide sign-language interpretation viewable on television — not only on an online feed, as [...]

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