The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has launched a series of video-casts translated into American Sign Language (ASL) designed to inform deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers about foodborne illness and raise the level of awareness of the dangers associated with improper handling and undercooking of food. FSIS is the first Agency within the Department of Agriculture to provide this type of service to consumers.
SignFSIS video-casts will feature Gallaudet University student volunteer ASL signers, accompanied by text captions, covering a variety of food safety topics, ranging from foodborne illness to how to safely handle meat and poultry products. Both hard-of-hearing and deaf consumers will be given an option to choose their preference of receiving information either in written English or ASL.
“We are excited to lead the charge at USDA to help promote the flow of important public health and food safety information by using cutting edge communication tools to consumers who will greatly benefit from access to sign language video clips,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond.
Sign language video-casts have recently become one of the most popular and effective tools of communication within the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, because it allows ASL signers to participate in the visual exchange of information on the internet. All consumers will benefit from the video-casts that provide food safety education in a visual format with captioning as an alternative to traditional text-based fact sheets.
Consumers can access the video clips on FSIS’ Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.