02.16.21

Rep. Mark Takano and Rep. John Rutherford Relaunch the Congressional Deaf Caucus in the 117th Congress

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Representative John Rutherford (R-Fla.) relaunched the Congressional Deaf Caucus in the 117th Congress. Reps. Takano and Rutherford will serve as co-chairs of this bipartisan caucus dedicated to bridging the communication divide between Members of Congress and their respective Deaf and Hard of Hearing constituents, as well as empowering these individuals by promoting equal access to government for all.

“Serving as co-chair of the Congressional Deaf Caucus is an incredible opportunity to advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in my district and across the country, and I am excited to relaunch this caucus with Rep. Rutherford in the 117th Congress,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “As the representative in Congress for the California School for the Deaf in Riverside, it’s important for me to see that our work is reaching everyone in our community. Last Congress, we requested ASL interpreters at every COVID-19 public briefing by the Trump Administration, and we partnered with Gallaudet University to expand the Congressional Deaf Internship Program to provide Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals with opportunities to grow their careers. I’m glad to see progress being made by the current administration to make government more accessible, and I look forward to continuing our efforts and working with President Biden to create a more equitable society for all.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years in the Deaf Caucus and I am excited to renew our efforts in the 117th Congress,” said Rep. John Rutherford. “From fighting for deaf interpreters in the White House coronavirus briefings, to securing opportunities for deaf students to pursue careers on Capitol Hill, our caucus is working every day on behalf of the Deaf Community. Thank you to co-Chair Mark Takano for his leadership and commitment to a more accessible and inclusive society for the Deaf and hard of hearing.”

Rep. Takano was one of the original co-founders of the Congressional Deaf Caucus in 2013.

In May of 2020, the Congressional Deaf Caucus sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging the White House Coronavirus Task Force to implement the use of sign language interpreters during all public briefings. Recently, the Biden Administration announced that a sign language interpreter will be present at every White House press briefing.

###

Press Contact

Lana Abbasi (951) 222-0203