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Austin man translates news into ASL for deaf community

The ability to listen to your television is something most people take for granted. Here in Austin, the mayor's office reports nearly 10 percent of the city's residents are deaf or hard of hearing and they rely on closed captioning to guide them through newscasts. Alex Abenchuchan is working to give them an alternative.

The ability to listen to your television is something most people take for granted.

Here in Austin, the mayor's office reports nearly 10 percent of the city's residents are deaf or hard of hearing and they rely on closed captioning to guide them through newscasts.

Alex Abenchuchan is working to give them an alternative. He runs one of the only American Sign Language news broadcasts in the country.

Abenchuchan, who is deaf himself, gets the top headlines to nearly 100,000 subscribers every day on "The Daily Moth."

Abenchuchan signed the 6 p.m. newscast Thursday on KVUE's Facebook page following the 5 p.m.-airing of KVUE's profile of him. Watch here:

"When I was a high school student I would read newspapers daily because I was involved in Quiz Bowl competitions and a lot of questions were current events. I think that's what started my addiction to news," Abenchuchan said. "It's in my blood to be a reporter. 

Abenchuchan, 30, works full-time Monday through Friday at the Daily Moth studios.

"My day starts at 8 a.m. I look at various news websites," Abenchuchan said. He usually will select four top stories and two or three deaf-related stories to put in his newscast.

"I write down the summaries and then I transfer them to text to the teleprompter and sign it in ASL. Then edit it, add images and text to the video," he said. He then uploads the videos to his Facebook page.

He's been doing this daily since August of 2015. 

"At that time I had less than 3,000 followers and less than 10 subscribers on my mailing list. Now Facebook has grown to almost 100,000 and I have over 6,000 subscribers on my mailing list. It's growing daily as more people find out about it," Abenchuchan said.

Abenchuchan said he named his newscast The Daily Moth because deaf people usually gather under the light at night so they can see while they sign.

His goal? 

"To not stop. To keep the light on," he said, explaining that as long as there's light, it's hard to keep the moths away. 

Abenchuchan said his next endeavor is to get local deaf reporters for his newscast.