Demonstrators Call for Increased ASL Services in Newfoundland and Labrador

Nearly fifty people gathered at Confederation Building today to call attention to the lack of American Sign Language interpreters in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was a cold day atop Confederation Hill, but that didn’t stop the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities and the NL Association of the Deaf, along with members and supporters of the community, from calling for government to address the shortage of ASL services in the province. There are only five interpreters supporting over 600 deaf adults.

Members of the crowd held signs saying “Language is a Human Right” and “My Access is Community”.

Joy Philpott, a former federal government employee, says she has felt a feeling of isolation due to a lack of service. She highlighted her own experience of when her partner had a major surgery and she didn’t know the severity until two to three weeks after.

She says she found out only after that he had almost died. She says while her boyfriend signs, he was so sick he could not really communicate that information.

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