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Hempstead to add sign-language interpreters, hearing aids to town board meeting

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino speaks after being

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino speaks after being sworn in during the Induction of Officials ceremony at Hempstead Town Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino announced that the town is adding sign-language interpreters and hearing aids for the deaf and hearing impaired during Hempstead Town Board meetings.

The town used its first sign-language interpreter last Tuesday during the swearing-in of the newly elected town board and will continue those services during board meetings at Hempstead Town Hall.

“Making government more accessible to neighbors is a top priority of my administration,” Santino said in a written statement. “I’m proud to spearhead the introduction of the accommodation to meet the needs of Hempstead Town’s hearing impaired residents.”

The town has contracted with the nonprofit Mill Neck Interpreter Service, which is certified by either the National Association of the Deaf or Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The town is also using electronic devices matched with the sound system at Hempstead Town Hall’s Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion. The meetings are broadcast by speakers inside and in the hallway of the pavilion. There is no online feed or video of meetings currently available.

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