RDOS Board supports accessible communication

News Article


The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is taking steps to improve accessible communication during emergencies. On Thursday, November 16, 2023, the RDOS Corporate Services Committee voted unanimously to provide a letter of support to Advocate Accessibility Partners.

 The volunteer group is preparing a petition to request the Province of B.C. take immediate action to use professional American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreters and include closed captioning, open captioning, or subtitles during important government announcements.

“I believe that a letter of support from the board would greatly enhance the credibility and impact of this initiative,” said Arlene Brenner, Advocate Accessibility Partners. “It would also signify the board's commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all residents in our community.”

During major emergencies such as wildfires and floods, the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) hosts live video updates to provide real-time information. “The EOC information section is exploring options to incorporate professional ASL/English interpreters into the online emergency broadcasts,” said Mark Pendergraft, RDOS Chair. “This is a major step forward in accessibility, and it will require a reconfiguration of the video updates to ensure interpreters are front and centre.”

Closed captioning is available during online broadcasts, and RDOS staff are working to improve the accuracy of captions on the Webex and YouTube platforms. To view the presentation by Advocate Accessibility Partners during the RDOS Corporate Services Committee meeting, please visit the RDOS YouTube channel.

For further information, please contact RDOS Communications.


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen


Christy Malden
RDOS Senior Manager of Legislative Services

RDOS Communications
Toll-Free 1-877-610-3737


RDOS Corporate Services Committee meeting, Thursday, November 16, 2023.

20231116 ASL RDOS presentation photo

Photo: (l to r)

Arlene Brenner, Advocate Accessibility Partners

Janice Lyons, Advocate Accessibility Partners

Marie Clarke, COI Certified American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreter