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The city council uses an ASL interpreter, which improves community engagement


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Progress for Abilene’s deaf and hard of hearing community was made at Thursday’s Abilene City Council meeting using an American Sign Language (ASL) virtual interpreter.

The move was featured when the captioning couldn’t keep up with the meetings.

For the first time on Thursday, the Abilene City Council used an ASL interpreter to tape its meeting. The council used a 24/7 remote video talk line, similar to a zoom call. Video of the interpreter was visible in the recording of Thursday’s meeting in the lower right.

The interpreter was able to listen to the Council meeting and interpret what was said on video.

It was a much needed opportunity to serve Abilene residents who are deaf or hard of hearing.

City Manager Robert Hanna told KTAB/KRBC he hopes the move will improve community relations.

“It shows who we are as a community,” Hanna explained. “You know, we believe in open government and we believe in citizen participation. This means that everyone should have a chance to do so.

Now, with the help of interpreters, people signing can not only understand the city’s issues, but they can also sign with the interpreter to get the guidance they need from the city.

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