ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Deaf Marylanders gave high marks to state officials in several categories in the Health Signs Center’s nationwide survey assessing information access regarding the Covid-19 pandemic among 351 deaf people in 10 states, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Those categories include: interpreting and captioning access at press conferences, trustworthiness in American Sign Language-translated online information, the provision of qualified deaf interpreters, and the state’s inclusivity of the deaf in emergency preparedness.

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Fifty-four percent of deaf Marylanders said they felt their needs were represented by the state deaf and hard of hearing office, while only 25% of those surveyed from all ten states felt this way. Deaf Marylanders were more likely, at 88 percent, to know where to find Covid-19 testing, compared to the survey average of 80 percent. Deaf Marylanders were more likely, at 42 percent, to trust information “a lot” translated into American Sign Language compared to 29 percent of deaf people in all 10 states found it to be “very” trustworthy.

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Thirty-three percent of survey respondents in Maryland felt completely satisfied and 49 percent of that same group felt mostly satisfied with access services in their state during the pandemic, compared to 17,5 percent of respondents in the other states. Forty percent of Marylanders said their state government emergency preparedness and policies were inclusive to the deaf and hard of hearing community, compared to 12 percent of respondents in the other states.

California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Washington, Indiana, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts were the other states surveyed.

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CBS Baltimore Staff