The silent heroes: Sign language interpreters keep deaf community informed on COVID-19

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — You’ve seen them at every COVID-19 briefing at the state and local level. You might not be paying attention to them unless you need them, but sign language interpreters are working hard to make sure everyone gets the vital information they need.

The deaf community relies on sign language interpreters to understand what is going on during the COVID-19 crisis. “

“[It is] incredibly important for them to be able to understand what’s going on, know the importance of things like social distancing as well as wearing masks and other precautions we can take. It also helps for them to be able to understand what’s going on and not to have fears because they can’t understand the instruction that’s being given,” explained Lee Langusch.

Langusch has been signing for over 10 years. You may recognize him from the bi-weekly Winnebago County press briefings.

“It is difficult in that we want to be able to express the information clearly and as accurately as possible along with the other feelings that are being expressed by the speakers,” he added. “It takes time, preparation, but it can be a challenge.”

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