RITNTID almunus signing this year’s Superbowl Halftime Show
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For the first time in history, American Sign Language accessibility will be a part of this year’s Superbowl Halftime Show. Rochester will also have ties to this very special event.
Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf alumus Sean Forbes will be signing every performance in the show. News10NBC talked to Forbes who also happens to be a deaf entertainer in his own right.
Forbes told us this is a culmination of about 13 years of work between the National Association of The Deaf, and the National Football League. So far, the deaf community only had sign access for the pre-game show.
It’s going to be a very big weekend for Forbes, as he will be joined by Warren "Wawa" Snipe during this weekend’s Pepsi Superbowl Halftime Show. Last year Wawa, also a deaf performer, signed during the game’s National Anthem. They will sign for some of the biggest names in the music industry.
"Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige," Forbes said. "Both of us are so excited to provide ASL performances for all of those artists."
Forbes said signing music is nothing new to him.
"When I was living in Rochester I was always signing Dr. Dre songs, 50 Cent. You know all of those west coast rappers, all of them. I’m making the music more accessible for everybody," Forbes said.
He is a rapper himself, posting numerous videos of his own songs on social media platforms.
"Our goal is really to give the deaf community equal access to their music, and to really show, we’ve arrived, ASL is on the map," Forbes said.
Forbes, who currently lives in Los Angeles says seeing ASL reach these heights means everything to him, but more needs to be done as more services for the deaf community are in demand.
"You know the deaf community is just constantly fought for access for so many years, and you know it’s hard enough to get captions on TV even today it’s still," Forbes said, "You know captions are still not what they should be."
Forbes said signing during this weekend’s halftime show performances will help open the doors for the deaf community’s next generation and help them shine.