Chance the Rapper adds ASL interpreters for an inclusive concert experience
Chance the Rapper has donated millions to Chicago Public Schools, partnered with non-profits to empower those experiencing homelessness—and now, the Chicago native is focusing on his deaf and hard of hearing fans.
Thanks to the addition of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, his shows are now exponentially more inclusive. In a video posted to Facebook, Chance announced the addition to all upcoming shows. He was joined Matt Maxey, founder of DEAFinitely Dope, an organization focused on bringing interpreters to shows around the world.
“I want all those hard of hearing and deaf in the Tampa area to come out and see the show,” Chance explained in a video with interpreter Maxey. Additionally he gave out 50 front-row tickets to the show for fans who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The two met while Maxey was interpreting shows at Bonaroo, a music festival Chance happened to be headlining.
“We’ll have interpreters at our show which will be a new thing going forward to help everybody be able to experience our show,” Chance said, before asking fans to invite their friends. “We just want to turn up!”
According to an interview with a member of the DEAFinitely Dope team, those who are hard of hearing or deaf usually are the ones who must request the presence of an interpreter—and it’s very rare that the artist provides one themselves, as Chance is doing, and fans are thrilled.
This is so so so amazing. Making concerts a place for all is such an important step that you all are helping us make ❤️
— Tom Bergan (@TBergan15) June 17, 2017
I love this so much. ASL is beautiful and accessibility is important!!!!!
— Samantha (@samputsimply) June 17, 2017
Chance did it. His confidence is shining so brightly. We do need more black interpreters and expand more diversity in the deaf community.
— TheCherryJournal (@cherryisblushin) June 17, 2017
It seems like the blessings keep falling in everyone‘s laps.