Sign language interpreters have become constant and vital for the deaf and hard of hearing during COVID-19

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SPRINGFIELD, MO.– In a time when information is crucial, it’s not always about the city, state, and other government leaders, but instead, those who are interpreting and relaying that message to others.

If you have been a frequent viewer of the City of Springfield’s recent briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve also likely noticed interpreters with the Associates in Sign Language.

It’s a local business that provides a necessary service for those that use sign language as their primary means of communication.

Lauren Haverd, a sign language interpreter, has become a constant and vital presence for the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

“Interpreting an accurate message is important all the time, but it feels a little bit more high stakes when you have thousands of people tuning in,” said Haverd.

According to Havard, she is known as a CODA, a Child of A Deaf Adult. She grew up with her father who is deaf, so she has been signing her entire life.

Even sign language veterans like Havard still have to learn new words. signs like ‘coronavirus’, ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home’.

“..In the beginning of these press conferences these vocabulary terms related to coronavirus were still being established and I had to see what was being accepted by the deaf community,” said Havard.

To learn more about American Sign Language, listen to this digital extra podcast.

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