GONZALES – In some circles, the talk this weekend wasn’t the storm but the animated sign language interpreter who rose to viral fame helping the deaf understand important governmental updates in Ascension Parish.

Ari Latino, 19, the interpreter, is worthy of his newfound fame. Latino is deaf and is signing through his own interpreter in the audience. As a “native signer,” Latino is able to speak more directly to a deaf audience and can sign the messages more conversationally – perhaps even easier to understand – for deaf viewers.

He can essentially sign a “dialect” that a person who is trying to sign directly from what they hear may not be able to communicate.

“I really want to help the deaf people,” Latino said through an interpreter in an interview with WBRZ Saturday. “[I don’t want] deaf people to feel left out. I want the deaf to really understand, clearly, what’s happening and not to have any misunderstandings or feel like they’re in danger.”

Latino works with the Baton Rouge Center for the Deaf and became the government interpreter through an organization called Deaf Focus.