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DC ASL performers to feature during Super Bowl LVI

Two Gallaudet University alumni will perform during the much-anticipated game of the season.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Super Bowl LVI performances will feature three American Sign Language (ASL) performers-- two that are from D.C., during the national anthem America the Beautiful and Halftime Show.

Dr. Dre added ASL performers, Warren “Wawa” Snipe and Sean Forbes to Sunday's lineup that also includes Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.

Actress Sandra Mae Frank from NBC's New Amsterdam will perform the national anthem and America the Beautiful in ASL as country star Mickey Guyton and R&B hitmaker Jhené Aiko sing before the Los Angeles Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals.

Frank and Snipe are Gallaudet University alumni and will showcase their talent as artists on the national stage for a historic performance. 

Snipe is not new to the Super Bowl stage. He has previously performed in 1994 and recently in 2021 for the National Anthem and America the Beautiful performances. Snipe, a hip-hop artist, redefines his take on the genre by calling it "dip-hop" which he defines as "hip-hop through deaf eyes." 

"This is a significant step forward, a model for others, in how to make our world more inclusive for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people across the globe," Gallaudet University said in a statement.

“The 21st century, we’re starting to be seen," Snipe told the AP through an interpreter. “Many doors are opening throughout our community. Many people are seeing what our talented deaf people can do as actors, musicians, producers, directors, writers, artists in general. 

While closed captioning has been available for decades, the text on the screen in English does not truly provide access to the hard-of-hearing community that uses ASL as its first language.

“The captions are often delayed, they're often not on time and they miss a lot of words," said the 40-year-old Forbes, who is from Michigan. “To see this performance in ASL, it’s not just an interpretation. It's a full-blown performance."

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