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The Dangers of Television

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The Dangers of Television

There may be an object in your home that you unwittingly allow to lead you into a type of hypnotic trance. If you are the like the average American, several rooms in your house are equipped with an object that you focus your eyes on. It flickers every few seconds, and can produce a hypnotic-like trance. It is one of the most popular devices of our time—the television set.

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More than 96 percent of American homes have at least one set.i Jerry Mander found that although there are many ways to be hypnotized, a number of experts defined hypnotism in such a way that television aptly fits the description. The classic setting for TV watching is similar to a typical environment for hypnotism induction—a darkened room, a flickering light (the TV set) as a single-minded focus, and freedom from outside diversions.ii

People watch programs provided by TV stations, cable companies, satellite networks, videos, and DVDs. The range of programming is diverse—movies, documentaries, sit-coms, sports, music, education, nature, news, ad infinitum. Does what you watch have any effect on your mind and character? It clearly does. From the standpoint of both depression and the frontal lobe, the most disturbing aspects of television relate to the veritable explosion of both sexual content and violence.

Some adults may argue about whether sensual imagery is increasing on television. Consider the effect that the growing amount of televised sexual content is having on American young people. Documentation shows that television’s erotic influence is so pervasive that it increases sexual activity in teens and younger children. Studies show that the age of first sexual intercourse significant decreases due to the influence of TV. The more television watched the lower the age for that first sexual encounter. Not only do studies show it, children themselves report that television encourages them to take part in sexual activity at a young age.iii

The growing use of sexuality in the media is viewed with consternation by many segments of the population. More “open-minded” individuals often label those concerns as narrow and puritanical. However, those who are truly concerned about sexually explicit material—whether it be delivered through the medium of TV, magazines, the internet, sexually suggestive novels, or even a walk on a populated beach—appear to be on very solid footing when it comes to the effect of sexuality on depression.

For years, sexual arousal has been linked to stimulation of the right side of the brain.iv Research suggests that the area particularly stimulated by sexual arousal is the lower part of the right frontal lobe.v The frontal lobe is probably the last place you would want to stimulate if you want to treat or prevent depression, because depression tends to be characterized by a relatively greater level of activity in the right frontal lobe compared to the left.

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I am concerned about the very casual attitude that most Americans have towards sex. Much of what passes for acceptable attire and acceptable behavior on primetime shows (and commercials) appears calculated to sexually arouse the viewer. The research is clear as to where the problem lies—it is sexual arousal.

Each individual can determine for himself whether that line is being crossed. My guess is that if most of my depressed patients are honest, that line is crossed more than once during the course of a typical evening of television viewing.

Recent research from UCLA revealed that young women exposed to “one or more significant childhood adversities” were more likely to become depressed when exposed to stressors. The childhood adversities included things like family violence, parental mental health problems, and This is not an isolated study. There is a growing body of research linking stressful early life experiences with an increased risk of depression.vii However, other research indicates that a “significant childhood adversity” may come into the home via the television set.

In 1994, a series of case histories was presented in the British Medical Journal. In an initial article and two follow-up letters, seven different children were described who experienced major psychological trauma after viewing a single disturbing television program called Ghostwatch.viii,ix The 90-Minute pseudo-documentary was staged production which featured a family who was being violently victimized by ghosts. The show ended giving the impression that viewers were at risk of similar violence from these spirits.

The seven children viewers described in the British Medical Journal consequentially experienced an array of psychological problems that seriously disrupted their lives and the lives of their families.

Among the symptoms and signs described were depressed mood, nightmares, fear of the dark and of sleeping alone, difficulties in concentrating, impaired memory, “persistent intrusive thoughts and images of the traumatic event [the TV show],” raised levels of anxiety, panic attacks, and irritability. I would not be surprised if some of these youngsters later experienced an increased incidence of major depression following this stressful life event.

We do not yet have hard evidence of a connection between violent television viewing and depression. The lines of evidence are in place, but a definitive study has yet to be undertaken to conclusively bring the previous research into a fully congruent picture. The documented connection between life stress and future depression, and the fact that violent television viewing can be a significant stressor, certainly implies the connection between violent television viewing and depression.

Although the content you view exerts powerful effects on your mind, the medium of television itself also appears to have profound mental effects. Independent of content, evidence suggests that merely watching most television programs is detrimental to the frontal lobe. This deleterious effect appears to be the result of the scene-switching work in most programming.

The technical problem with the filming technique is referred to as a “rapidly changing scene of reference.” The average television program (or video or DVD) changes its reference every three to five seconds. The perspective from which you are viewing the event suddenly changes from camera to camera many times each minute, whether you want it to or not. The frequent camera switching and scene changes that viewer passively experiences is thought to be the critical factor that brings about the frontal lobe suppression during the viewing process. This is in sharp contrast to how we normally view the world around us. We see real life scenes from one perspective (where we are located at the time of the event). We can change our perspective only by voluntarily moving, and then we are limited by means of transportation.

Dr. Morris cites television’s rapid change of reference as contributing to a hypnotic-type effect.x Dr. Thomas Mulholland looked at children’s EEGs (brain waves) as they watch their favourite television programs. The researchers assumed that since these programs were their favourite shows, the kids would be mentally involved with what they were viewing and would experience a continual shift between alpha brain wave activity and beta. Instead, after just two or three minutes of the show, they sat back and stayed almost entirely in an alpha pattern. This meant that while they were watching they were “not reacting, not orienting, not focusing, just spaced-out.”xi

Very few television programs (less than one percent) are truly educational. Within a minute of watching any television program you can determine if the program will detract or enhance frontal lobe activity. True education will not only convey information but will also enhance particularly the front-middle and left prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe. If the scene of reference stays the same for thirty seconds or a minute, you can be sure that the program is educational.

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Most C-Spam programs, some Discovery Channel programs, and many 3 ABN programs (specializing in spiritual and health programming) are examples of informational programs conveyed via a slow or perhaps no scene of reference change. This allows full analytical abilities of the viewer to be operative while receiving the information. One additional benefit of such programming is that prolonged “eye focus” associated with hypnosis tends not to occur while receiving this information. Since there is no rapid scene of reference change, the eyes do not have to unnaturally stare at the television, but will often leave the set, and look around the room while still receiving and analyzing the information.

Dr. Herbert Krugman, a brain wave researcher, has gone on record saying, “Television is a communication medium that effortlessly transmits huge quantities of information [to the viewers] not thought about at the time of exposure.”xii Dr. Erik Peper, another influential brain wave researcher and writer, once said, “The horror of television is that the information goes in, but we do not react to it. It goes right into our memory pool and perhaps we react to it later, but we do not know what we are reacting to. When you watch television you are training yourself not to react and so later on, you’re doing things without knowing why you’re doing them or where they came from.”xiii

Under the influence of television, the frontal lobe cannot function at its full capacity. The brain does record information: sight, memory, and emotions are all functioning well. Nevertheless, the brain no longer critically analyzes the information. Terrible scenes can be depicted, but the viewer tends only to laugh or shrug them off. Normally, if those kinds of events happened in real live the individual would be appalled. Even this is changing as people become more desensitized through exposure.

Despite how you respond—whether by laughing, apathetically staring, averting the eyes in disgust, or a hundred other ways—scenes are indelibly imprinted upon the mind. When you see a rerun once it begins you know you have seen it before. The memory is there, although the last time you saw it your frontal lobe was not any more active than it is this time. .xiv

The same hypnotizing brain activity that occurs while watching television also occurs while playing video games.Consider this excerpt from an article on a popular gaming website:

Prolonged time playing video games could cause people to lose concentration, get angry easily and have trouble associating with others, a Japanese professor’s research has suggested.

In a survey conducted by Akio Mori, a professor in Nihon University’s College of Humanities and Sciences, it was found that the longer people spent playing video games, the less activity they showed in the prefrontal region of their brains, which governs emotion and creativity.

What is even more worrying is that according to the study, brain activity in the people who continually played games did not recover in the periods when they weren’t playing games (emphasis added).xv

Games on video consoles or the computer not only damage our minds, but simply waste our lives away. Time is our most precious asset, and we are to use it for the glory of God:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and world lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present age (Titus 2:11-12 NKJV).

For more information on video games, brain activity, and violence, watch Little Light Ministries’ film Artificial Atmosphere.

Well over a decade ago there were more than 3000 scientific studies published on the effects of television on the mind.xvi Research continues on the interrelationship. More than 500 books have been written on the subject. It is one of the most well researched subjects in our culture, yet most people have little awareness of TV viewing’s solemn consequences.

Television news programs often publicize lifestyle-related scientific studies, but little is said about the studies done on the effects of television on the mind. We cannot expect the television industry to reveal the truth about itself, but we do not have to remain uninformed.

Six decades after David Sarnoff, President of RCA, unveiled the first television at the 1939 World’s Fair, it is time to ask, what is television doing to our country? More specifically, what is television doing to me?

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (1 Corinthians 6:12 NKJV).

The apostle Paul tells us that we need to be watchful to not be brought under the power of anything other than God. Although television might not be bad in itself, its use is rarely beneficial to us and we need to be careful about falling into its power.

Read more about the power of TV in our next article

The University One-Volume Encyclopedia (Franklin Dunham, 1967): 421.

i. D. Zuckerman, B. Zuckerman, “Television’s impact on children,” Paediatrics (February 1985): 233-240.

ii. J. Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York, NY: Quill, 1977): 194-196.

iii. E. Hundt, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, delivered before the National Press Club, (Washington, DC: July 27, 1995).

iv. D. Tucker, S. Dawson, “Asymmetric EEG changes as method actors generated emotions,” Biol Psychol (August 1984): 63-75.

v. S. Stoleru S, et al., “Neuroanatomical correlates of visually evoked sexual arousal in human males,” Arch Sex Behav (February 1999): 1-21.

vi. C. Hammen, R. Henry, S. Daley, “Depression and sensitization to stressors among young women as a function of childhood adversity,” J Consult Clin Psychol (October 2000): 782-787.

vii. S. Daley, C. Hammen, U. Rao, “Predictors of first onset and recurrence of major depression in young women during the 5 years following high school graduation,” J Abnorm Psychol (August 2000): 525-533.

viii. D. Simons, W. R. Silveira, “Post-traumatic stress disorder in children after television programmes,” BMJ (February 1994): 389-390.

ix. M. Baillie, A. Thompson, C. Kaplan, “The terror of television. Anxious children at greater risk,” BMJ (March 12, 1994): 714.

x. F. Morris, as quoted in J. Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York, NY: Quill, 1977): 197.

xi. J. Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York, NY: Quill, 1977): 210.

xii. H. Krugman, as cited in J. Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York, NY: Quill, 1977): 209.

xiii. E. Peper, as cited in J. Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York, NY: Quill, 1977): 211.

xiv. A. Toffler, Future Shock (New York, NY: Random House Inc., 1970).

xv.”Study Suggests: More Game Less Brain,” (September 7, 2002).

xvi. E. Rubinstein, “Television and behaviour. Research conclusion of the 1982 NIMH Report and their policy implications,” American Psychologist (1982): 820-825.

Essay - Influence Of Mass Media On Our Society. Share Your Opinon.

Essay – Influence Of Mass Media On Our Society. Share Your Opinon. – The mass media including TV, Radio and Newspaper influence our society and shape our opinions and characters. What is your opinion? Write mass media essay in 300 words. In today's modern society mass media plays an essential role in shaping up of individual's opinions & characters.There are different kinds of mass media: press, telephone, television, radio and the others. A mass medium is a means or a method we use to send a message to someone else. Most people are in the habit of reading news because it is interesting and important.Television changed the nature of political communication because it. gave the public audience the ability to see what officials looked like and see the effects of their actions. Why would a political party avoid associating with an interest group that holds radical principles?

Mass Media in Our Life. – Английский Язык – Ukrainian political scientist Vladimir Fesenko believes that the key issue isn't potential Russian aggression, but rather the sharp deterioration of The Ukrainian side started to talk about changing the location of the peace talks back in August 2020. Reznikov himself spoke about the fact that after…POLITICAL MESSAGESThe chapters in Part II focus on political messages. Bruce Gronbeck reminds us that the study of political communication Because these Michigan studies were national sample surveys, the role of personal communication networks in voting decisions was difficult or impossible…B. It gave the public audience the ability to see what officials looked like and see the effects of their actions C. It caused people to spend more time consuming entertainment programming rather than political events D. It led to the creation of regulatory agencies that prevent news stations from…

Mass Media in Our Life. - Английский Язык

04.09 U.S. Government Flashcards | Quizlet – Although TV and the Internet have dominated the mass media, movies and magazines—particularly those lining the aisles at grocery checkout stands—also While most people argue that a corporate elite controls media, a variation on this approach argues that a politically "liberal" elite controls media.manipulation, communication, information, television, human, mechanic, satellite, comfort, media, formation, modernization, effect productivity, informant, communication, information, entertainment, journalist, achievement The nature of news is a favourite subject of discussion among journalists.Radio, before television appeared, had already altered the public´s perception of politicians´ communication by making their public contributions sensible —meaning apparent Television took this further by making visible the politician in his portrayal as a public figure, his statements — and the…

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Cinema, Radio, and Television: Crash Course History of Science #29 – With this telegraph, a device invented way
back in the mid-1800s, I can communicate with you, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.
I can update you on stock prices or the movements of enemy troops.
Or who's going to the next week on Ru Paul's Drag Race! What’s harder to do is make you laugh, tell
you a long story, sing you this metal song I wrote, or show you this hilarious cat who’s
terrified of this little toy rabbit—it’s adorable, trust me! For that more emotional, audiovisual mode
of communication, let’s ditch the telegraph and leverage some basic scientific discoveries
about sound, light, and electricity made during the nineteenth century. *Hank sings the Crash Course theme* [Intro Music Plays] The telephone, invented in the 1860s and ‘70s,
took personal communication to the next level. Both Scottish–Canadian inventor Alexander
Graham Bell and American engineer Elisha Gray created working telephone systems in 1876,
and the priority dispute between them is fascinating. But the telephone didn’t lend itself to
popular entertainment. It was a one-on-one technology, not a way of communicating to
the masses. So it wasn’t until the invention of commercial
sound recorders and motion picture cameras, in the late 1800s, that you could consume
the same media as other people around the globe. And for those devices, we need to head back
to the Menlo Park laboratory of Thomas Edison. Who was, by the way, also working on the telephone! Edison developed the phonograph, which literally
means “sound writing,” in 1877, shortly before the lightbulb and electrical power
system that made him famous. Maybe Edison was interested in recording,
amplifying, and playing back sounds because he was hard of hearing. He might have imagined
alternative strategies for recording that hearing people wouldn’t have thought of. Edison’s team invented a recording cylinder,
which offered good sound quality. It worked by vibrating a thin membrane wrapped around
the cylinder, and then amplifying those vibrations, or making them louder. But other inventors created the commercially
popular record—a big, flag disc that stores audio information easily by using the ridges
of records to encode sound waves. Either way, phonographs are pretty simple
and durable—and still in use! All of you “long play”-collecting vinyl heads are
enjoying a fancier version of the phonograph every time you start your turntables. Edison’s cylinders were originally used
mostly for office dictation by big companies and had little impact on the consumer market. In fact, Edison invented a lot of stuff that
consumers would either ignore or outright despise. Probably the funniest example of an Edison-fail
was the talking doll, created in 1890. The doll had a recorder in its chest that could
play back “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and other kid-friendly hits. But the sounds grew faint quickly, making
an already creepy object that much creepier. Even Edison called the dolls his “little
monsters!” And Edison’s magnetic ore separator—which
was basically a big electromagnet that could pick up tiny bits of ore left behind by conventional
mining—straight-up bankrupted him! That said, this was actually a brilliant application
of the new science of electromagnetics. Just too far ahead of its time to work efficiently
in practice. Edison had better luck—post-doll, post-ore
separator—with moving pictures. As with his other inventions, he wasn’t
the first inventor, just the one who made a practical commercial system. Today, historians credit French artist Louis
Le Prince with the first workable movie camera. In 1888, he created the first known movie,
a very short one showing off Roundhay Garden in Leeds… it's apparently a good garden… haven't seen it myself. Then, Le Prince disappeared from a train and was never seen again, so… ThoughtBubble, show us how Edison made movie magic: As with the lightbulb, Edison didn’t do
the inventing himself, but relied on hiring creative experts. Still, he was the self-proclaimed
Napoleon of technology. So in the 1890s, Edison and Scottish inventor
William Dickson rolled out the Kinetograph, the first motion picture camera, which Dickson
invented at Menlo Park. Film movie cameras work by taking lots and
lots of photographs called frames. When they’re played back quickly, they give the illusion
of motion, because the human brain can only process so many images per second before it
just gives up. Edison also created the prototype for the
Kinetoscope, the first device for individual movie viewing, in 1891. He debuted this device
in Brooklyn in 1893. And in 1895, Edison created the Kinetophone, adding sound to his movies
via a cylinder phonograph. Edison’s early movies were not exactly Oscar-worthy,
although perhaps YouTube-worthy. They were only one minute long, and they often lacked
elements we associate with cinema today, such as plot. One of his early movies, for example, simply
depicted three of his blacksmiths, doing some smithing. Other memorable Edison productions
included “The Kiss,” “Fred Ott’s Sneeze,” Annie Oakley shooting glass balls, “Frankenstein,”
and everyone’s favorite, “Professor Welton’s Boxing Cats!” Most of these were shot in the first movie
studio, the Black Maria, which was created at Edison’s bigger, newer lab in West Orange,
New Jersey. One notable exception was “Electrocuting
an Elephant” which was filmed at Cony Island in which the aging elephant Topsy was killed using alternating current. It was sad and weird, and also popular. Thanks Thoughtbubble! Kinetoscope and Kinetophone movies took off
in saloons. And to Edison, this was enough. Movies didn’t need to be long or complex:
they’d never make any money that way! And besides, people have short attention spans. Other cinematic entrepreneurs had different
ideas. Unfortunately for them, Edison was an enormous patent troll! He had the patent
on the camera, so he kept suing other movie makers on the east coast. Which is one reason why they kept moving to
Los Angeles, the eventual epicenter of the movie industry. The other reasons were the
better natural lighting and weather, and the larger number of very good yoga studios-slash-juiceries. Dickson left Edison Studios to found Biograph
Pictures, and the French kept innovating. Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière invented
the cinematograph in the 1890s with the idea of holding mass screenings. And, finally, in 1902, the U.S. Court of Appeals
ruled against Edison, finding that his company couldn’t hold the patent on all movie cameras,
just the specific model Dickson invented. But by then, cinema had moved to the west
coast, and the world would finally be able to bask in the glory of Point Break. Radio came decades after cinema. Which may
sound odd—it’s just sound, after all. But radio waves have to travel long distances
without losing fidelity, or accuracy. Whereas movies were carted around using physical reels
of film. Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell predicted
the existence of radio waves back in the 1860s. But German physicist Heinrich Hertz discovered
in 1885 that a wire carrying an electric current will radiate, or give off, electromagnetic
waves when it’s swung back and forth. That is, he made an antenna. Hertz researched the waves that antennae give
off, becoming the first person to show in an experiment how to make and detect electromagnetic
waves. His work led directly to radio. Today we measure the frequencies of electromagnetic
waves in units called hertz. Radio waves—the longest type of electromagnetic wave—are
measured in kilohertz, megahertz, or gigahertz. Inspired by Hertz’s research, a young Italian
inventor engineer named Guglielmo Marconi worked in the 1890s on how to send telegrams
wirelessly. Many people were interested in wireless communication,
but it was Marconi who first developed a working system. At home in Bologna, he sent and received
the first radio signals. Soon after, Marconi traveled to Britain to
commercialize his system. By 1899, he sent the first wireless telegraph signal across
the English Channel. And by 1901, he was able to send a single
letter, “S,” across the Atlantic Ocean, from England to Newfoundland, Canada. In this humble, sibilant way, radio was born!
And so Marconi won the Nobel in 1909. In fact, Nikola Tesla developed a working
radio system even before Marconi, but it was Marconi’s that took off commercially. That process took a long while. Regular radio
broadcasts began in 1920, in Pittsburgh, at the 100-watt station KDKA. And the British Broadcasting Corporation created
the first radio network in 1922. Radio broadcasts soared in popularity and became profitable
thanks to advertising. By 1936, three quarters of American households
owned a radio. Unlike a telephone, a radio worked without laying expensive copper wires. So this invention, and the automobile, connected
cities to rural areas and changed how people consumed music and sports. Radio also became a tool of political propaganda
and an indispensible way of communicating important news. The greatest example of this occurred on October
30, 1938, when Orson Welles directed an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel, “War of the Worlds,”
in which terrifying Martians invade earth and subdue humanity. Some people didn’t understand that this
was a drama – maybe they like, flipped on midway through, and mistook the realistic radio announcements for actual news, causing a panic. As radio was taking off, television was invented
and built on the infrastructure that supported it. And, like radio, TV would take a long time
to move from prototypes to commercial networks. Numerous people contributed to its development,
but one name stands out. Scottish engineer John Baird invented a mechanical TV in the
early 1920s. He used transparent rods to transmit images
of only thirty lines at at time, or pretty low resolution. Baird demonstrated the first televised images
in 1924, and moving ones in 1926. In 1928, he transmitted an image of a human face across
the the Atlantic Ocean. A year later, the BBC began broadcasting Baird’s
TV system. He even worked on color TV before 1930—a tech that wouldn’t become
standard until the 1950s. But in the end, the BBC switched to electronic,
rather than mechanical TV, adopting a system by Marconi’s company in 1936. Still, TV was expensive to produce, and receivers
were expensive. World War Two caused an intervening distraction, so television didn’t take off
as an industry until the 1940s. Telstar, the first satellite for global broadcast,
was launched in 1962. And then, on July 20, 1969, people all over
the world watched as a human set foot on the moon. We’ll get to space soon! Think of all of the communications technologies
required to enable almost everyone alive to watch the same Super Bowl, World Cup, or EuroVision
final! These technologies emerged from intensive,
competitive corporate research programs. Corporate invention at Menlo Park set the stage for
later R&D hubs at Standard Oil, General Electric, DuPont, Bell Labs, IBM Labs, and Google X. These places sought to, and seek to, turn
basic scientific discoveries about electromagnetism into patents and profits. Next time—we’re probing our own gray matter:
it’s the birth of psychology and psychiatry! Crash Course History of Science is filmed
in the Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney studio in Missoula, Montana and it’s made with the help of all
this nice people and our animation team is Thought Cafe. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If
you wanna keep imagining the world complexly with us, you can check out some of our other
channels like Healthcare Traige, The Art Assignment, and The Financial Diet. And, if you’d like to keep Crash Course
free for everybody, forever, you can support the series at Patreon; a crowdfunding platform
that allows you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support. .

Article Translation for Ozy Media: The Forgotten Victims of the Pandemic: The Deaf Community – Sunny Shin with Ozy Media authored "Why The Pandemic Could Prove Particularly Bad for the Deaf." Like most people around the world, the coronavirus pandemic has changed Nanette Harmon’s life.
But there’s one difference. While all her other senses are alert to the rapid changes around her, she cannot hear and so misses out on important news and updates about the crisis. After following often inaccurate captions and trying to make sense of charts during press conferences, she looks to her family who sign for clarification. Harmon’s the director of the American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies program at Niagara University and knows she’s more privileged than most of America’s 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people, and 466 million people with disabling hearing conditions globally. As the world grapples with a once-in-a-generation public health crisis that has already claimed more than 13,000 American lives, experts fear the deaf community are facing communication barriers that make it even harder for them and their families to navigate the pandemic. Because of new medical terminology around the coronavirus, inaccurate captioning is common on television. Local news is live captioned only in the top 25 markets, says Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, leaving the rest with inaccurate teleprompter script captioning. That puts the community at risk of being misguided and leaves them without access to time-sensitive local news. In a recent Nature article, researchers have pointed out that there are at least 15 different signs being used currently around the world to designate the coronavirus, adding to the confusion. All of that’s reflecting in the sharp spike in inquiries the National Association of the Deaf is receiving 1,000 just in the last month, when the organization typically gets 1,300 in a year, says Rosenblum. Craig Radford, director of Connect Direct under Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), says a breadth of inquiries have flooded their coronavirus hotline in American Sign Language, from general questions about symptoms and local guidelines to filing for unemployment benefits. And the implications of not providing timely and accurate information on the crisis to people who are deaf or hard of hearing go far beyond the community. “The pandemic will only continue without accurate, wide-spread information, therefore putting fellow citizens under crisis,” says Harmon. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act both guarantee non-discrimination. But experts say the official communications response to the coronavirus crisis betrays just how hard the community has to fight for even a basic recognition of their concerns. When change does come, it's often without consultations with the community. For most deaf individuals using coronavirus hotline services provided in ASL, English is a second language. According to Harmon, many among the deaf community demonstrate low English reading levels, approximately equivalent to that of average 4th graders. That means even improved and more accurate captioning for television won’t suffice, which is why leading organizations for the deaf have stepped up to provide ASL interpreters to coronavirus press conferences in all 50 states and the White House. But while all states have recently included an interpreter, the White House still doesn't have an official ASL interpreter at its briefings — they aren’t fully accessible. According to David Wantuck, community engagement specialist at the Buffalo-headquartered Deaf Access Services, the ASL interpreter for New York state press conferences has only been seen on web broadcasts, leaving those not watching on the internet behind. Rosenblum echoes the need to ensure accurate information is fully accessible to the community through certified interpreters present consistently in press conferences and important briefings. Internationally, sign language support varies from country to country. Gum Soon Park, communication specialist at the Korean Deaf Center in Seoul says the government there responded quickly to the need for Korean sign language interpreter services after the outbreak. Support during medical emergencies is rather efficient, she says. In 2016, the South Korean government gave legal recognition to the Korean sign language. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, 41 countries out of 193 U.N. member states that have given legal recognition to their national sign languages. Missing from that list? The United States. In the face of a crisis of global proportions such as the pandemic, common international signs are also important. In late March, the World Federation of the Deaf wrote to the WHO asking for the use of international signs while providing public health information on the current crisis. The WHO is yet to announce a global sign for the pandemic. Other experts, like Johannes Fellinger, a senior lecturer at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, say individualized communication is also critical, especially when it comes to health services and during doctor’s appointments and medical emergencies. The deaf community often suffers from a significant delay or from a lack of culturally and linguistically competent interpretation services to navigate sensitive medical conversations. “Wouldn’t you want to contact the person you trust and get the accurate information?” Fellinger says. Radford says some of his deaf friends with coronavirus-related emergencies have been deprioritized and put into the waiting room while staff waits for interpreters. Even when interpreters are provided, communication that happens while wearing masks is not ideal, since many deaf people follow the movement of lips and facial expressions. Then there’s mental health. A review of the research evidence, published in Lancet in 2018, found that deaf people are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems as compared to the general population. Though counselors are offering telemedicine services for mental health needs, TraciAnn Hoglind, founder of Health Signs Center, writes some insurance firms restrict “patients to access in-network providers, which is problematic for Deaf patients seeking direct cultural and linguistic competent mental health services by deaf professionals fluent in ASL.” These communication barriers amplify global health emergencies like the pandemic for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The virus doesn’t discriminate among people. The world’s response must not either. .