Photo: At AIPAC, speakers showed up on huge screens but none offered captions for the hearing impaired. Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
03/04/2014 - 14:32
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
The New Normal
The New York Jewish Week
Today, when Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a vital speech in front of 14,000 people at AIPAC on the threat of Iran and the need for a successful lasting and secure peace, there was no sign language interpreter or live captioning offered. There were more than 40 massive screens around the room showing the speech – yet not one of them enabled someone with a hearing impairment to follow the program.
AIPAC is not a tiny organization with a limited budget or small staff. It is a powerful and well-respected organization. These exclusionary practices are a shame, because its conference is a chance to make real progress. It is the largest gathering of Jews in America.
What's more, it is a role model. The New York Times has called it “the most influential special interest group in Washington.” More than 14,000 pro-Israel Americans attended its Policy Conference in Washington, including much of Congress and 2,000 students from 449 campuses. What is said and done at AIPAC shapes opinion and policies for years to come.
March 14, 2014 | 11:40AM PT
The National Assn. of the Deaf’s inaugural Breakthrough Awards honored Marlee Matlin, Aaron Sorkin and “Switched at Birth’s” producer Lizzy Weiss in a gala Thursday at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
The event celebrated those who have paved the way for deaf and hard of hearing artists in Hollywood and the media. The NAD, established in 1880, is the oldest civil-rights organization in the U.S.
Following the silent auction and cocktail hour, emcees Constance Marie (“Switched at Birth”) and deaf actor and producer John Maucere officially kicked things off. Throughout the night, American Sign Language interpreters signed and spoke to ensure that both hearing and deaf attendees could follow along.