UK Happenings

CI Honors Virginia Moore, Communicator of the Year and Kentucky’s COVID-19 ASL Interpreter

Virginia Moore
Virginia Moore

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2021) ­— The University of Kentucky's College of Communication and Information's (CI) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and American Sign Language & Deaf Culture Club (ASLDCC) will welcome certified sign language interpreter Virginia Moore — Kentucky's Communicator of the Year for 2021 — on Tuesday, Oct 5.

The event, “Virginia Moore: Communicating For All Kentuckians,” will begin at 5 p.m. in the UK Athletics Auditorium at the William T. Young Library. Moore will speak about accessibility and inclusivity during a global pandemic. An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will be provided.

Moore is the current executive director of the Kentucky Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH). For many Kentuckians she became a familiar name, and sight, as she appeared on screen interpreting Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily COVID-19 briefings. Moore advocated for the nearly 700,000 Kentuckians who are deaf and hard of hearing and requested the governor utilize an interpreter at his briefings, marking the first time that any Kentucky governor had done so.

The governor’s briefings were a steadfast component of Kentucky’s fight against coronavirus and Moore’s presence was an unmissable addition to the effort. The Kentucky District of the National Speech and Debate Association recognized Moore as Communicator of the Year for her commitment to ensuring deaf and hard of hearing Kentuckians had equal access to coronavirus updates at a most critical time for the state.

Born into a family with deaf parents and siblings, Moore learned ASL as her first language. She graduated from Indiana State University and holds the highest level of interpreter certification from the National Association of the Deaf as well as the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf National Interpreter Certification. Moore joined KCDHH as the executive director’s interpreter and has worked with the agency for 25 years. In that time she has witnessed the enhancement of resources and implementation of new technologies for deaf and hard of hearing Kentuckians, including captioning services for all state agencies.

Moore continues to be involved with DeaFestival - Kentucky, a biennial event and cultural program that celebrates the diversity, art and language of the deaf and hard of hearing community. She has also provided interpreting services for the USA Deaf Sports Federation, the United States Deaflympic Committee and the Kellogg Foundation.

“Not only did Ms. Moore help bridge the gap in accessibility, she was an advocate and a voice for others. She brought forth much awareness to interpreting services; with many individuals desiring to learn ASL, pursue careers as interpreters, be advocates for the deaf community, among so many others,” said Courtney Martin, president, ASLDCC. “We cannot thank her enough for not only what she has done during COVID-19 but what she continues to do each and every day. She is and will continue to be an inspiration to us, and so many others.”

The event honoring Moore is a capstone of CI DEI’s programming to highlight deaf awareness in line with Deaf Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually in September, and is a collaboration between CI DEI and ASLDCC that highlights UK’s ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

This event is free and open to the public. A Zoom link will be provided here.

For more information and accommodation requests please contact Kyra Hunting at

The CI DEI Committee also thanks UK College of Education’s Kentucky Deaf/Blind Project.

About American Sign Language & Deaf Culture Club (ASLDCC)

ASLDCC is an organization on campus focused on promoting ASL proficiency while also educating members about deaf culture and raising awareness about issues facing the deaf community. ASLDCC partners with organizations on campus and in the Lexington community to share their mission and help others expand their knowledge of both ASL and deaf culture.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.