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Why didn’t Poloncarz use sign language interpreter?

As a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community who works in Erie County, I was appalled by the lack of a sign language interpreter accompanying Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz during his televised press conferences to relay vital emergency information during the blizzard.

This was a widespread state of emergency affecting all residents, and everyone should have been included in receiving these county updates during the blizzard. I feel the emergency planning here failed for this population. While closed-captioning may be available to some today, that is no substitute for serving the entire community. It appears as though no one is representing the deaf and hard of hearing in the sharing of vital communications.

Jessica Czamara

Niagara Falls