The Biden administration has made White House press briefings more accessible for people who are deaf or have trouble hearing. If you head over to the official White House channel on YouTube, you’ll now be able to watch these press events with an American Sign Language interpreter, something Press Secretary Jen Psaki says is intended to improve accessibility.
The ASL interpreter was introduced with the White House press briefing on January 25; you can head over to the White House YouTube channel to watch the entire session yourself or check out the related snippet in the video below.
Press Secretary Psaki noted that the interpreter is joining the sessions virtually. The ASL is provided as a picture-in-picture view overlaid onto the main video. Users who have trouble hearing also have the option of turning on YouTube’s captions feature to read the transcription (though at this time, they don’t appear to have been added; captions are available on older videos, however).
In a statement kicking off today’s session, Press Secretary Psaki said:
As a part of this administration’s accessibility and inclusion efforts, starting today we will have an American Sign Language interpreter for our daily press briefings … The president’s committed to building an America that is more inclusive, more just, and more accessible for every American, including Americans with disabilities and their families.
This is one of the multiple changes we’ve seen arrive in the early days of the Biden administration. A few days ago, the White House website was refreshed for the current administration, adding some accessibility features like a dark mode and font size adjuster.