Deaf community celebrates a win for inclusive communication
SALT LAKE CITY – (May 19, 2022) Every day, the Xbox team streams on the channel on Twitch, the latest and greatest titles from the world of Xbox. Now, in partnership with Sorenson, the world’s leading provider of inclusive communication services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Xbox has launched a new channel – Xbox ASL – that features American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for original livestreams.
The partnership delivers gaming to a larger audience as well as first-looks, specific tips, interviews, and strategies to Deaf gamers – in their natural language – to support their gaming craft and winning! For Xbox, it’s an opportunity to spotlight classic and indie games that never received captioning .
“Gaming with Twitch is a very communal experience for fans and gamers as celebrities. With ASL interpretation, Deaf gamers can join and fully participate in that community,” notes Lance Pickett, Sorenson Chief Relationship Officer, who is Deaf. “Seeing ourselves in all aspects of life and across all industries gives us equal grounds to compete!”
The announcement comes on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, dedicated to learning about digital access and the inclusion and support of people with disabilities. And now, for Deaf gamers, digital accessibility support in gaming includes ASL.
Currently, the ASL Xbox channel provides sign language interpretation for approximately 25 hours of livestreams each week.
“As a company known for revolutionizing communication access via technology, we offer huge kudos to Xbox. Gaming is an open community, and we are proud to partner with any opportunity that provides Deaf gamers with improved experiences through direct engagement and ASL accessibility. We urge others within and beyond the industry to follow,” said Jorge Rodriguez, CEO of Sorenson, which interprets more than 140 million conversations each year and remains the industry leader in accessible communications, services, and technology for Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Sorenson services include ASL interpretation for Teams, events, livestream, and Video on Demand needs.
“We are excited to partner with Sorenson and bring the power of play to even more people with the new Xbox ASL Twitch channel,” shared Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility at Xbox. “At Xbox, we understand the importance of continuing to innovate when it comes to accessibility, and this partnership with Sorenson is another step toward ensuring everyone can experience the joys and connection of gaming.”
Sorenson taps the power of language for human relationships to thrive. As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of accessible communication for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages. Sorenson offers caption and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services. For more information on how we advance human connection, visit www.sorenson.com or es.sorenson.com.
Director of Public Relations
Gaming for Everyone, for Xbox
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.