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December 20, 2014 by: Hal Newman

Disasters can have an impact on anyone. But for a person who is Deaf, or doesn’t speak English as their primary language, accessing important information to prepare for emergencies can be difficult. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has released videos in American Sign Language and also in Spanish to ensure the message of preparedness is available to various populations.

OSDH contracted with Deaf Link, Inc. to produce these videos using federal funds available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Hospital Preparedness Program. They cover topics such as having a family emergency plan, packing a go bag and winter storm preparedness. Each video features American Sign Language, audio English, audio Spanish and highlighted text. These videos will assist people who are Deaf, people who are hard-of-hearing, people who have low vision and people who are blind. They will also assist people who have low literacy with the video capabilities of being able to stop and review information on their selected topic of emergency preparedness. Some of the videos provide step-by-step instructions on emergency preparedness.

Glenda Ford-Lee, statewide at-risk populations coordinator, said the videos help close the gap in providing accessible education in preparedness for the state of Oklahoma. They address the three most commonly used languages in United States: English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

“These videos will be accessible to the whole community, which is what our emergency planning is focusing on for the state and the nation,” said Ford-Lee. “Everyone should have accessible information. Emergency preparedness information is very important and can save lives.”

She said the videos are just the beginning of products being developed to get information available in everyone’s primary language.

To access the videos, click here

Find more tips for preparing your family for a disaster at and like the OSDH Emergency Preparedness Response Service page on Facebook.

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