Nyle DiMarco’s oh-so-subtle hint that he wanted to attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner paid off. On April 14, People magazine confirmed that the deaf model/reality star would be one of the glossy’s celebrity guests (along with “The Office” actress Jenna Fischer).
But the golden ticket isn’t just a score for DiMarco. He plans to bring Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano as his plus-one. And an American Sign Language interpreter also plans to accompany Cordano, who is deaf, and DiMarco, a Gallaudet grad and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant (DiMarco’s a fan favorite), to facilitate communication and translate the program. Deaf Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin previously attended the dinner in 2000, along with “West Wing” cast mate Martin Sheen and renowned ASL interpreter Jack Jason.
A politically active deaf-rights activist, DiMarco plans to use his presence at the dinner to promote his platform of deaf children’s education, making Cordano a perfect person to have by his side.
According to a WHCA spokeswoman, it’s the responsibility of member organizations to make specific accommodations for their guests. DiMarco doesn’t have his own personal ASL interpreter, so People worked with his alma mater to arrange for a Gallaudet Interpreter Services interpreter to join the pair.