Vatican City, Apr 19, 2021 / 05:15 am
Pope Francis’ Wednesday and Sunday speeches to the public will now be accessible in American Sign Language.
The Vatican’s communications office announced the “no one left out” initiative at the end of last month. It is now in an experimental phase.
Sr. Veronica Amata Donatello, a member of the Alacantarine Franciscan Sisters, told CNA that the project uses the tool of sign language to allow “everyone to receive the Word of God and the words of the pope.”
“Because the Gospel and the words of the successors of Peter are addressed to all,” she said.
Donatello is the head of the disabilities office for the Italian bishops’ conference, which provides live sign language interpretation for televised Masses and other religious programming on Italian television.
The Franciscan sister is now partnering with Vatican News to help bring the pope’s words to deaf people around the world in both Italian Sign Language (LIS) and American Sign Language (ASL).
For now, live LIS interpretation is available, while the videos with ASL interpretation are posted the next day. Each type of sign language has a dedicated playlist on YouTube.
Sign language interpretation is available for Pope Francis’ Wednesday general audience catechesis and Sunday Angelus or Regina Coeli prayer.