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U.S. launches second coronavirus task force; Deaf awareness grows

By April 14, 2020

USA (MNN) — President Trump is expected to release more information about the “Opening our Country” task force today.  Comprised of doctors and business leaders, it focuses on the logistics surrounding a nationwide return to “normal.”

As described here, a majority of governors have imposed statewide stay-at-home orders, and the decision to lift those restrictions remains at the state level. Experts continually debate the balance between public health and economic impact.

COVID-19 updates have consumed national headlines for weeks. See our full coverage here. Nearly every major televised address features an American Sign Language interpreter. Deaf Bible Societys Chantel Pagan says this inclusive access to vital information is a new development. “Over the last two years, we’ve seen a wave of awareness to the Deaf community at large,” she explains.

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

“I think that has opened up a new desire in many news outlets and government agencies to recognize the need for communication in sign languages, and to provide quality interpretation for information… especially when it comes to emergencies.”

Informing and encouraging Deaf communities

There are some sign language platforms focused solely on Deaf audiences, but they are few and far between. “[DPAN.TV] is a sign language channel that focuses on providing access to interpretive content, updated news, and other resources as well,” Pagan says. Check it out here.

In this unprecedented time of nationwide isolation, Deaf Bible Society connects Deaf people to the most important information of all: God’s Word. “One of our core desires is for the Deaf community to be engaged with God’s Word and encouraged with God’s Word in community,” Pagan says.

Since “many states have opted into ‘stay in place’ orders, this led us to encourage others to be refreshed by the Christian community through technology,” she adds.

“We want to make sure that our fellow Deaf… have an opportunity and an access point to be encouraged by the Church and refreshed by God’s Word.”

On its website, Deaf Bible Society keeps a running list of U.S. churches offering Deaf-led and interpreted services. Click here to see the list.

Find your place in the story

Lord, we lift up the world today in prayer. May Your peace descend as we navigate difficult times.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Deaf Bible Society via Facebook)

Using the buttons below, share this article with Deaf friends. They may be unaware of the communication outlets and resources available to them. “Join us in praying that the Lord would move greatly through the Church and with the use of technology to be a beacon and a shining light for every Deaf person,” Pagan requests.

“Though this season is one of trial and struggle, I believe so strongly that the Lord is raising up the Church at-large to be the Church from anywhere, and in this case, from home.”

Use this Prayercast video to pray globally, and use the prompts listed alongside this article to intercede for needs specific to Deaf believers. While most of Deaf Bible Society’s U.S.-based partners have adapted well to lockdown measures, that’s not the case for international teams.

“We have projects [with limited] ability to work from home, and so if the government puts a restriction in place…that can really limit our ability to work with them and see projects move forward,” Pagan explains.

 

 

Header image depicts Vice President Mike Pence meeting with the White House Coronavirus Task Force Principals on Monday, March 2, 2020, in the White House Situation Room.  (Wikimedia Commons)

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