American university to develop a system to alert deaf & blind to climate emergencies
Researchers at the University of Alabama in the United States are studying how they can alert the blind and deaf communities better to climate related disasters like tornados.
Major communication gap for the deaf & storm warnings
They plan to carry out extensive interviews with the deaf and blind communities in Alabama and the larger to understand their needs better.
Meanwhile they are working on how to improve their understanding of the tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service. They plan to do a live interpretation in American Sign Language of the emergency weather broadcast with a deaf interpreter to develop and ASL emergency weather live stream.
Researchers got a government grant to help pay for this study
Disability advocates say this idea needs to be taken to the internet as well. Research has shown that there is a big communication gap for many deaf people and tornado warnings. This is especially true for those who live and work alone and need information. Often broadcasts take place very fast and the communication is cut off.
In the next two years, advocates want to have live stream interpreting during emergencies available in various cities and locations across the United States.