Heather Mewshaw, a freelancer ASL interpreter who appeared at a White House press briefing last month, revealed she has not been asked back since it was revealed that she has translated far-right videos into sign language.
‘I was canceled and humiliated publicly and it was unjust and unfair,’ Mewshaw said as she spoke out on the controversy for the first time.
‘The goal of my activity… is all about access,’ she told the New York Post. ‘Deaf people just want a chance to decide for themselves what information is out there.’
Mewshaw is a self-confessed Trump supporter who worked for the previous White House translating media briefings between November and December last year.
She then appeared at a briefing by Biden spokesman Jen Psaski on January 25, at which she announced an ASL interpreter would cover every future briefing.
Just two days later, Time magazine published an article outing Mewshaw for her political views – and noting that she runs a group of interpreters who translates for a supposed far-right organization.
The group used to be called Right Side ASL but changed its name to Hands of Liberty after Facebook shut their old page down for violating its rules.
Among the videos that Mewshaw and her team have interpreted are ones by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, entitled What Really Happened On January 6th? – referencing the storming of the Capitol Building on January 6.
Another featured Stella Immanuel, a doctor who touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid and was once promoted by Trump before it emerged that she also believes alien DNA is being used in medical experiments, and that vaccines were being made to stop people being religious.
But Mewshaw insisted she does not endorse the content she interprets and is merely providing ‘a service’, whether for those on the left or right of the political spectrum.
Mewshaw’s critics created a petition after the Time magazine expose was published calling for her to be sacked, which gathered some 8,000 signatures.
The National Association of the Deaf was quick to throw Heather Mewshaw under the bus, warning that all ASL interpreters should be properly vetted before translating at an event.
‘Care must be taken by everyone who hires an ASL interpreter to ensure that they are properly vetted for any interpreting job, whether it is a medical appointment, a job interview, a court proceeding, or a White House press briefing,’
Joe Biden’s Sign-Language Interpreter Inclusion
To start off her Jan. 25th press briefing Psaki, where she introduced Heather Menshaw, Psaki lectured about inclusion, claiming that President Biden is committed to building an America that is more inclusive, more just, and more accessible for every American, including Americans with disabilities and their families.’
So one must assume that the canceling of Heather Mewshaw is how the Biden administration defines being “inclusive,” and “just” while they’re screeching about ‘Unity‘?