Talladega mayor Timothy Ragland is pushing for future US presidential election debates to provide an American sign language (ASL) interpreter.
“In the most recent US presidential debate, the subtitles could not keep up with the candidates. That’s why he wrote a letter to the DNC and RNC chairpersons, asking for an ASL interpreter to be implemented in future debates.” said Ragland.
Ragland said he represents a city with many people with hearing disabilities and feels it’s his duty to speak on their behalf.
“Many have the ability to listen and keep up, but for those who are deaf or hearing impaired, that wasn’t there for them. No ASL interpreter could convey the messages that were being spoken, so it’s just not right. They are part of our community, our neighbors, and we should do everything we can to make sure they can participate,” Ragland said.
Talladega is the home to the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. Mayor Ragland said he went to speak to the school president to find out what students were saying.
Ragland said he also is reaching out to local senators and representatives to help push for this change.