Our REACH of Plano Office Manager Shawnett Viani shared her recent experience at a Plano City Council Meeting.
" I just wanted to share with you something I did on Monday night at the Plano City Council Meeting. When deciding to speak under the general public comment you may propose something to be put on their agenda to discuss and vote on implementing and what not. I advocated for myself and others with auditory issues for the need of real time captioning during the meetings and for ASL Interpreters being more obtainable. Often times they do not show up and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are left out. I proposed the idea that they consider providing these two options together and automatically at every meeting. Mark Israelson the Plano City Manager stood up and walked over to me. They have decided to not put it on the agenda, but to take immediate action. I am super excited about this as there are many Plano citizens upset about the lack of access to the meetings due to hearing issues. I feel like this is the right step in the right direction to making communities more accessible. I plan to give a similar speech to propose the same idea in Denton as well.
Here is the video of my speech if you’d like to watch. I get a little emotional at the beginning because my interpreter did not show up to that meeting and it had been over 5 hours of me sitting there waiting to speak in silence (It was 11:15pm when I got my chance) due to a special called meeting to discuss a controversial topic. The regular scheduled City Council Meeting was delayed."