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Arizona is 1st American state to make legislative meetings accessible to the deaf

January 20, 2018

Arizona in the southern part of United States has made history. There are over one million here who are deaf and for them the state legislature, which is the equivalent of our Vidhan Sabha, has become a more inclusive place.

Making inclusiveness essential to democracy

When the legislature convened last week, it rolled out a new live-captioning service that was available for all committee and floor meetings in either chamber. This is the first state in the country to offer such a service for all its meetings, thereby making the lawmaking process more transparent and accessible.

The deaf can now fully take part in the process and they know what is going on. The service, which must be requested via the legislature's website at least 24 hours in advance, allows users to see a live text feed on their mobile device or computer.

Apart from this, the legislature offers a looping technology that directly broadcasts amplified sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants. People with hearing aids can access it by pushing a button on their device.

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