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Sign language interpreters and Gov. Mike DeWine April 30, 2020

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, Random musings.

My state’s governor, Mike DeWine, has been doing a stellar job governing Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t vote for him. His politics are not my politics. But I and many others are very impressed with the work he is doing and how decisive he has been. He relies on his Director of Health for the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, when making his decisions. It’s so nice to have science-based decisions being made. Their daily afternoon briefings have become must-see television with many Ohioans (creating “Wine with DeWine” at 2 p.m.). One of my friend’s brothers has made a cartoon about “DeWine and Amy” that has gone viral and is a total hoot to watch.

Governor DeWine was one of the first governors to issue strict stay at home/shelter in place orders and quickly shut down all non-essential businesses. When criticized by his fellow Republicans he has continued to stay the course. As a result, Ohio has had a much flatter curve, with 17,000 confirmed cases and almost 1,000 deaths. He has allowed restaurants to operate with take-out services and then–just as I was missing having a drink with dinner–he announced restaurants could sell cocktails in to go containers. The peak appears to have been on April 27th, and the infection rate has been declining. A tentative reopening date has been set for tomorrow, although masks are a must and we are being urged to stay home if we can.

He surrounds himself with good, qualified people. He has a great team of sign language interpreters during his briefings, and he has a history of relying on trained interpreters. One interpreter, Marla Berkowitz, is the the only certified deaf interpreter in Ohio and has had a location front and center during the briefings. She has even stood out enough to have articles written about her. I assume she does some lip reading, but there is also someone signing to her, which she interprets and relays back in a very easy to understand and logical ASL and emotive facial expressions.



1. Fran Winter - April 30, 2020

Very nice. I hope they get to see your praise.

2. Ellen Hawley - May 1, 2020


Someone pointed out to me recently that face masks are going to be a real problem for people who lip read. I confess, it’s something I hadn’t thought about.

Jill (@bonnjill) - May 2, 2020

There have been articles about masks with clear screens that enable lip reading. For example, https://nowthisnews.com/news/college-student-designs-face-masks-for-the-deaf-hard-of-hearing-community If I had someone with a severe hearing loss in my life I’d be sure to get some. Hopefully some hospitals carry them.

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