ASL interpreters must involves in Quebec Breaking News

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We needs your help to sign the petition that you need ASL interpreter involves in emergency communications relating to COVID-19.

You have to understand how we advocate our provincial and municipal government and councils to recognize our accessible needs for our health safety and human rights.

Open Letter to the elected members of parliament, the National Assembly and of various city councils, to the directors of public health, to the media, to interpretation services,

Subject: ADDENDUM: Contracting the services of Deaf interpreters and American Sign Language-English interpreters during emergency communications relating to COVID-19.

L’Association québécoise des interprètes en langues des signes (AQILS) applauds the joint efforts made by all levels of government and their partners in the media in striving to render their communications and press conferences accessible to the Deaf community. The establishment and maintenance of these measures are deeply appreciated. To date the effective practices we’ve observed in Quebec are as follows:

  • Interpreters have been visible on screen, and we recommend that the interpreter should also be on site next to those officials addressing the press or the public, as is the case in several provinces across Canada, rather than using a picture-in-picture approach.
  • In the event where picture-in-picture is the only possible way to incorporate interpretation, the interpreter’s frame takes up ¼ to ⅓ the size of the whole picture and is therefore clearly understood by viewers.
  • Appropriate placement of captions that do not block the view of the interpreter.

The maintenance of these criteria to date is much appreciated. Having said that, this letter highlights other elements that must be considered when coordinating future announcements, so as to enable inclusive communications

  • The utilization of interpreters who are Deaf (Deaf interpreters), as is the practice in most Canadian provinces. Hiring qualified Deaf interpreters whose first language is ASL or LSQ allows for an optimal understanding of communications by members of the Deaf community, regardless of their linguistic background, level of education and the region they live in. The use of Deaf interpreters in emergency communications promotes public acceptance of safety instructions. We believe that it is essential to adopt this practice in Quebec.
  • The full interpretation of press conferences, including spoken English portions being interpreted into ASL. The ASL Deaf communities are a lively presence in different regions of Quebec, notably in Outaouais and Montreal. The coexistence of the two linguistic groups therefore requires the creation of teams responsible for interpreting communications from French to LSQ and from English to ASL.
  • The interpretation of public service announcements produced by each level of government, ex.: municipal, provincial.
  • For press conferences which feature a picture-in-picture approach, this must include ASL and LSQ. Thus far, media outlets have been inconsistent in featuring sign language interpretation within their broadcasts. Often, the interpreter is cut out of the frame of the screen and is therefore impossible to understand. 

The government and media response to our last press release, dated the 13th of March, was very well acted upon and we hope that that rigour remains steadfast regarding the pertinent elements that we’ve brought up in this letter. Thank you for your continued attention and leadership in this matter.


I remain available to you should you have any questions regarding accessible communications and working with sign language interpreters.

Alice Dulude

Présidente de l’AQILS



Please refer to this text from the Canadian Hearing Services:

“Accessible Emergency Communication: Find an Interpreter.” “Interpreters frequently work in teams, comprised of both hearing and Deaf interpreters.”

Here is a non-exhaustive list of press conferences featured on television and/or online that features the utilization of interpreters who are Deaf (Deaf interpreters):

Published by Mathew Kuntz, partnered with Alice Dulude, AQLIS President