New York is America's first city to offer ASL Direct to people who are deaf & hard of hearing
The New York City administration has announced the launch of ASL Direct.
ASL Direct refers to video technology that allows people who are deaf and hard of hearing to connect via webcam to an information specialist fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).
This makes New York City America's first city to offer this service.
ASL Direct will enable New York City residents, who mainly use ASL, to obtain city services faster and more efficiently. They can connect from any Android, Mac, iOS, or Windows device, via a link on the website of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD).
The MOPD has worked with the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to implement this video technology.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this was one step towards making the city, the fairest city, in the United States.
Becoming the fairest big city in America means ensuring equitable access to City services for all New Yorkers, including our Deaf and Hard of Hearing neighbors. Deaf and Hard of Hearing New Yorkers now have a one-stop shop for information, whether it’s how to find affordable housing, enroll in Pre-K, or where to get a flu shot. - Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York
The video technology has been developed in close partnership with the deaf and hard of hearing community.
There are over two lakh people who are deaf and hard of hearing in New York City. Most of them communicate through ASL.
ASL Direct services are available 10 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday.