Television as a source of COVID-19 information: a qualitative inquiry into the experiences of the deaf during the pandemic

Keywords: COVID-19, deaf, pandemic, sign language interpreter, television, presidential task force (PTF)


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) came as a rude shock to all. Its emergence was sudden and its attendant effects on psychosocial adjustment of all citizens especially among the Deaf were traumatic. Thus, the need to access the required information about the virus became necessary. While information about COVID-19 came from various media sources, television as an audio-visual material remains one of the most reliable sources of COVID-19 to the deaf. However, issues of quality assurance and comprehensibility of televised COVID-19 related information remain a concern among the deaf during the pandemic. Thus, as there is scarcity of research reports on such circumstances among the deaf, this study explores the perceived quality of and comprehensibility of televised sign language interpreted COVID-19 briefing by the Nigerian deaf. The motor theory of sign language perception was used as a theoretical lens in this study. An individualised semi-structured interview was used to gather data that was used to achieve an answer to the research objectives. Thematic content analysis was employed for data analysis. The following themes resulted from the analysis: visibility, incomplete interpretation, Camera handlers’/Television stations’ inadequate knowledge of deafness and deaf communication processes and partial comprehension of interpreted COVID-19 briefings. Camera handlers and technical crew must ensure adequately illuminated interpreters space and a contrasting backdrop of picture-in-picture is ensured. Also, SLIs should endeavour to use a transparent face shield or adopt the 1.5m–2.5m physical distancing rule


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Author Biographies

Olufemi Timothy Adigun, National University of Lesotho

Department of Educational Foundation

Paseka Andrew Mosia, National University of Lesotho

Department of Educational Foundation


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How to Cite
Adigun, O. T., Mosia, P. A., & Olujie, C. T. (2022). Television as a source of COVID-19 information: a qualitative inquiry into the experiences of the deaf during the pandemic. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (4), 67-81.
Social Sciences