Six feet to the governor's left: Virginia Moore gives Deaf Kentuckians access to COVID-19 updates

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 11:44 AM EDT
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Virginia Moore has become an important part of Governor Andy Beshear's daily COVID-19 news conferences.

“I’m part of something different, something new, a historical moment for Kentuckians and for access," said Virginia Moore.

She is an American Sign Language interpreter with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. She said her presence in the news conferences is bringing awareness not just to the coronavirus, but to another big problem. Her presence is shedding light on the need to reach the Deaf and hard-of-hearing.

"This is a tragedy for everyone but in light of this, the little golden nugget is our governor," said Moore. "The first governor I know of in 25 years to give us full access in providing interpreters to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing."

Moore said this access allows the governor to reach at least 700,000 people in Kentucky who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. She even said that number could increase in the younger generation.

"One in five teenagers will have a hearing loss. That's because of the earbuds, all that wonderful music. Turn it down," she admonished.

Moore said she hopes once the pandemic ends, she and others will still be able to provide ASL interpretation for the governor's office to keep the awareness up.

The interpreter added that she feels a little awkward about all the attention she has received but said it is worth it because of the services she and others can provide.

She said the only time she almost got emotional during her signing was when the governor announced he was going to light the mansion green to show compassion for those that died because of the coronavirus.

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