NAD President Melissa responds to community regarding concerns about Super Bowl LVI viewing experience.
MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa with this month’s President Updates. I have a few things I planned to discuss but I’ve decided to hold that to another video and instead, discuss community concerns about Super Bowl LVI. Last week was a challenging week for us in the deaf community. The NAD Board became aware of community concerns through social media, videos, emails, and Front Desk inquiries from individuals and organizations. Many of you participated in different dialogues sharing your perspectives and experiences. The Board acknowledges your concerns. We met and realized that our feelings and experiences mirror yours. I’d like to share my experience watching the performances this year. On that day, I looked for and downloaded the app I needed to watch the ASL Performers. Just before the game started, I looked for Sandra Mae Frank and found the link in the app. I was prepared and ready but ended up watching a black screen while the TV broadcast showed that the song already started. I tried to navigate the app but then I saw Sandra for a few seconds on TV, I wish she was on TV longer. I tried to find Sandra’s performance in the app but it was over. Fortunately, a friend had a recording of Sandra’s performances and sent it to me. For the halftime show, I wanted to be sure not to miss it and had set it ready in the app. What a thrill it was to see Wawa and Sean performing! I noticed the lighting wasn’t great and the captioning kept dropping, which made me compare the captioning experience on TV. I was taken aback and felt disappointed. I shouldn’t have felt that. The NAD Board and I recognize your difficulties and we understand. With that, I encourage you to contact the broadcasting network and share your feedback. We can share our concerns with them so they can improve for future viewing experiences. The NAD is always looking for opportunities to elevate the legitimacy of our language, American Sign Language (ASL). We will continue to advocate for accessibility by working with the rotating broadcasting networks CBS, NBC, and Fox. We thank the community for bringing concerns to our attention because you care. Thank you.