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feedback/comments please! [28 Jul 2008|10:30pm]


I am in the process of completing an application for a competition called 'Realise Your Dream'.  This competition is to improve cultural relationships between Australia and the  UK in the creative industries.  My dream study the presence of sign language interpreters on UK music television programs, and then to adopt and establish a similar project in Australia
.  Details of the competition can be seen on this website:  http://www.realiseyourdream.org.au/ - the prize includes airfares to and from the UK, and the British Council will develop a work experience program for me in my chosen area.

As part of my application I have created an online portfolio of my work and achievements in sign-singing.  The portfolio can be viewed at http://signsinger.livejournal.com/ or </a></b></a>signsinger

I am seeking comments/feedback on my performances, and any thoughts or opinions on whether the need for language access to music exists for the Deaf community.  All comments, either negative or positive, are appreciated and will be of great help.  F
eel free to post your comments on the blog, or simply send me an email (signsinger@amnet.net.au) and I can publish your comments on your behalf.  In your comments, please indicate if you identify as Deaf/HoH/HI/hearing.  If you are hearing, please indicate your connection to the Deaf community and/or your interest in sign singing.

It would be appreciated if you could leave your comments by Thursday 31st July (this is when the application is due), however feel free to post comments after this date.

Any comments greatly appreciated!!

x-posted a few times.


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transcriptions [17 Jul 2007|09:45pm]

[ mood | curious ]

alright folks, as neurotic as i am about crappy closed captioning, i have decided to look into what it takes to become a captioner. i am sick of seeing crappy text come up when i watch the news, and i can only imagine what deaf people think when they read that jibberish.

so, any leads? how do i get into a field like transcribing tv?

2 comments|post comment

[28 Dec 2006|09:01pm]

I am a first year interpreting major at NTID and every time I think about the certification process I get queasy.  Granted, its three years away but still.  So, I have a question:

What do YOU think is the reason that the passing rate for the RID certification is 60%?  Obviously people are not prepared but why not?  Is it because people think they're ready after only learning ASL and not about interpreting itself?  Is it because of relatively short time of associates degree programs?  Why is it that so many people fail?

5 comments|post comment

VRS International call rant ... [23 Apr 2006|04:37pm]

I've been on the receiving end of VRS calls from my deaf friend in the USA (I am in the UK) for the past few months since he had it installed. He mostly calls to tell me to get my butt online so we can video conference, however there are times when we have longer conversations.

Ok onto the rant...
I have noticed that the VI's ability to understand my British accent is inversely proportional to the degree of southern accent they themselves have. (So the greater the accent the more I have to repeat, the more misunderstandings there are).

Conversation about the weather;
Me: oh its foggy
VI: its ... uh what, excuse me ma'aaaaam did you say fawwgy?
Me: foggy, yes I said foggy.
VI: fawwggy?
Me: yes foggy F_O_G_G_Y, foggy.

Another occasion...
Me: hello *** (my friend's name)
VI: (signs) hello Dad
My friend/via VI: (shocked, signs) huh? Who is that, who am I speaking with?
Me: its me ******
My friend, via VI: Why you are calling me dad?
Me: I did not,
My friend via VI: yes you said Dad
Me: Nope I said *** , (spelling it out for the benefit of the VI *-* *).

(I need to add that my friend's name (3 letters long) contains no letter D or A.)

While this is all fine and dandy for trivialish conversations, we recently ran into problems while trying to sort out our vacation plans for this year. We started out with a FANTASTIC terp, great tone of voice expression from her for my friend's facial grammar etc, she was really A++, but then after half an hour, she warned us she had to take her scheduled break.
Ok no problem, hold, wait to be reconnected...

VI: (heavy southern accent)[my heart sinking] hullo please continue
My friend via VI: Ok so I axed about it
Me: huh? Axed?
VI: excuse me ma'aaam?
Me: Axed? what does that mean?
VI: signing to my friend (ask what-mean?)
My friend: thinking, what the hell is wrong with her today that she doesn't understand the word 'ask'??!!)re-signs 'ASK'
VI: Axed,
Me: huh?
My friend via VI: I axed about the date at work for the vacation...
Me: (penny dropping) OOOOH you mean ASKED.
VI: signs ^
My friend via VI: yes axed, ****** are you feeling ok?
Me: yes, fine, thanks for asking (am sorely tempted to say thanks for AXING, but don't).

My friend via VI: Ok I have to go.
(phone rings immediately)
Hello this is ******** video relay service I'm interpreter # ****
Me: Ok hi, are you ok ***?
VI: yeah my cat is ....(silence as she signs back and forth)
Me: huh, what?
VI: my cat is pawing me
Me: oh ok
VI:(increasingly annoyed tone) yes (signing) pawing pawing, yes I said that sir
(My friend is speech reading her thinks she has not said it correctly.)
VI: (getting increasingly annoyed) yes I SAID that (random cussing),
Me: Ok which cat? Is it *****? He must miss you.
My friend/VI: can you go on the computer now.
Me: yes
(sudden hang up).

My friend tells me that both terps were TERRIBLE. He had got fed up repeating signs to the point where his hands were ready to fall off.
We recap our conversation and find huge exerpts of what we said are missing.

I know its a tough job, some of you are super great fantastic, other are just, well bad.

End rant
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Looking for Deaf performers for the fall [16 Apr 2006|09:33pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Hi everyone,

I recently took the reins of my college's ASL Collective (at Hampshire College in MA), and as part of that I am supposed to organize a Deaf event for the coming semester. I was wondering if anyone had any personal recommendations of Deaf performers, presenters, or groups that you've seen. We recently (just this weekend actually) hosted a performance of the Flying Words Project with Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner, and that got a great response from the community. We had a fair number of students come, but even more exciting was the fact that about 2/3 of the audience were Deaf people from the area who heard about the event. We're looking to do something similar in the fall, but with different performers.

Does anyone have recommendations of really good Deaf performers that we might try to book for the fall? Any stories you have to tell about performances you've seen would also be appreciated.

Many thanks,


*crossposted in a few places*

3 comments|post comment

[31 Mar 2006|05:36pm]

As an interpreter, I understand that I am expected to interpret whatever is being said. One of my biggest pet peeves is when other interpreters don't sign when the deaf client is not looking directly at them. I encountered this sort of situation just yesterday, after a friend and I attend a 2-day conference/lecture. Everytime he would look away for an extended period of time (to lipread, mostly), they'd stop interpreting. Or if I shot him a comment really quick, they'd stop interpreting. I found it incredibly frustrating, and very rude.

Also, interpreters who do what I'll call "back-up voicing." Same friend who voices very well said, "No thanks, but I appreciate it anyway," when a girl offered to switch seats with us. The girl understood him and said, "no problem," yet the interpreter voiced what he had said anyway. She did this a couple times throughout our two-day conference, and it really bothered me.

Thoughts? Does any of experiences similar to this one?
6 comments|post comment

New Interpreting Community [02 Feb 2006|10:10am]

I hate bad interpreters. It causes me pain to watch them! That's why I really think that all interpreters should get certified. Because of that fact, I created a new community. (All the cool kids are doing it!) It's certified_terps and it's aimed at certified interpreters or those seeking certification. Feel free to stop on by and start some discussions!
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suggestions [18 Jan 2006|10:27am]

[ mood | curious ]

i know that this community is a forum for discussing what you don't like about interpreters, but i thought i'd ask: what do you *like* in interpreters?

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What would you do??? (Cross-posted to anti_bad_terps, aslterps and <lj comm [09 Dec 2005|05:53pm]

[ mood | enraged ]

New Student: But there's no interpreter in that class. Can I be in here today?
His former teacher: Do you think you're always going to have an interpreter with you? No. Go to your class.

The back storyCollapse )

7 comments|post comment

Torn [02 Dec 2005|07:32pm]

Yesterday at the school where I work we had some future teachers from the state university come and do some practice teaching in a few classes. We are by no means a traditional school (we're actually a residential treatment facility for deaf and hearing kids who are at-risk: problems ranging from past sexual abuse to drugs to bad family situations). In two of the classes I'm in to interpret there were teachers, and we quickly realized they have no idea how to use an interpreter. Example: They pulled up chairs to sit, and I asked them to hold on a moment while I, too, got a chair. They said "fine," then started talking while the chair was in my hands!

So the teacher at our school who set it up asked me to come up with a list... something along the lines of "How to Work with an Interpreter and Deaf Students." Behind the cut is what I have so far, but I would LOVE suggestions. These are all general education majors, so this will be especially helpful since they won't have any training otherwise. Thanks!
What I have so farCollapse )
6 comments|post comment

Questions from a confused hearing man. [01 Nov 2005|04:56pm]

I have a question.

I live in the San Francisco bay area. Last weekend was the DeafNation Expo. I'm a hearing guy, in his second class of ASL. I like to go to as many deaf events as possible to practice and perhaps learn something. While I was at this event there was an organization, I've got their card out in the goody bag from the Expo in the car, so I don't recall their name, but they wanted to recruit me as an interpreter. They didn't care that I'd had 1 full class and was in the middle of my second. This worried me. Has anybody heard of this? Is it better to have somebody who can understand if you sign slowly enough or no interpreter at all?

Now give me another 4 or 5 years, I think I may make a bang up terp, if I can master the language.
4 comments|post comment

list serve post on VRS interpreting... thought it was interesting [13 Sep 2005|09:39pm]

VRS has had a huge impact on the San Francisco Bay Area. Last year we had
two call centers open up and immediately there was a shortage of
qualified interpreters. At my school we have an interpreting need of
about 200-300 hours per week. This was impossible to meet with the
shortage. Our response was to vend out to agencies to fill our gaps which
ran about 60-70 hours per week, i.e. one-third of our total. There was no
other choice because the services are mandated. Of course, this was very
expensive, but it certainly had an impact in that we were able to argue
for a substantial pay increase for interpreters in order to attract them
back. At least one other school in the area had the savvy to do the same.
We are now paying almost $44 per hour (and arguably it should be even
higher) and HR will not let us pay anything higher to our employees. You
can do the math and see what our budget now looks like. This year we are
hiring two more AY staff interpreters to lock in their hours and that
will hardly put a dent in our overall need. I have a lot of thoughts on
what makes a postsecondary venue an attractive place to work (as well as
the kind of interpreter that can do well in this environment but I'll
save that for another rant some other day!) and I would recommend that
schools think about first having competitive pay and benefits, and then
think about making their school a compelling place to work because it
offers non-monetary incentives.

With VRS acting as a black hole what I have noticed is, for lack of a
better term, "bottom feeding": good terps go to VRS and this opens up
opportunities for, well, less qualified interpreters. Or even signers.
It's been deplorable. But despite the shortage, institutions are not
therefore relieved of their responsibility to provide access.
Immediately. It takes years to train qualified interpreters, so calls to
train more do very little to solve our immediate need. I need an
interpreter today, not in six years! So our "strategy" in the short term
is to throw money at the problem. Do I think this is a solution? Yes,
it's a solution just like bailing water faster out of boat with a hole is
a solution.

By the way, getting my institution's or your institution's immediate
interpreting needs met is also a "solution" of sorts. A solution for you.
Or me. But given that interpreting resources are limited and finite, and
resource allocation is at or near the max overall, this begins to look
suspiciously like a zero-sum game: this only shifts the problem into
somebody else's backyard. So schools or venues with money get to solve
their problem. But what about everybody else? In the end somebody ends up
not getting served. But hey, I got mine, Jack!

(x-posted to aslterps)
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science signs [08 Sep 2005|10:54am]

[ mood | surprised ]

so, do your interpreters sign all the vocabulary or do they fingerspell? are there science term books in asl?

10 comments|post comment

just one of these frustrating days [29 Aug 2005|08:08pm]

I've just came from a class and frustratingly, the class felt like a complete waste of the time. The interpreter for that class... well, she was lousy.

I don't like criticising or judging other people's Auslan skills. *My* Auslan isn't that flash, and the skills of my friends ranges from these who know nil to these who are masters of the language. They're all equally my friends, however. I don't want my friends to feel that I put a value on our friendship depending on their language skills, because that's simply not the case at all. So, that's one reason why I don't like to evaluate people's signing skills - and also because, as with all other skills, it's something that depends on a lot of factors. Ahh.

But when you have a qualified interpreter who is getting paid for his/her services and who CAN'T SIGN PROPERLY, that seriously sucks. Argh. It was her first year working as an interpreter, so if she wasn't quite up to the par, that'd be understandable but I've seen first year Auslan students sign more clearly and with more expression than that interpreter. I'm just pissed off that I had to waste that 1.5 hours. The first half hour, I tried to follow her but it took far too much concentration, too far much trying-to-piece-the-bits-together from her sloppy and unprecise signing, and in the next half hour I started to fall behind, started to lose track. The last half hour I didn't bother at all.

I'm also still a bit upset because I found out the other night that one of my favourite interpreters has RSI so severe that apparently she was told that she couldn't do any interpreting for 18 months, and she's now in a position where it'll be a struggle to communicate with her deaf friends - she's very strongly involved in the Deaf community so in some ways the least loss will be her profession. (not that's an easy thing either...)

And, oh yeah, the interpreter was cramming food in her mouth in between snatches of interpreting. What the go?

(cross posted to my journal)
4 comments|post comment

Trans/GQ/Intersex ASL-Accessible Show in LA [14 Aug 2005|01:08pm]

Please Spread the Word--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--Please Spread the Word!

L.A.’s only showcase and display of art, music, performance, and literature from trans/genderqueer/intersex artists presents

Beach Blanket Bohemia!

The best seats go to those with beach chairs and towels! Wear beach attire!

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA--Trans/Giving’s August show goes from 3-9 PM Saturday, August 20th, 2005 at the West Hollywood Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd in West Hollywood. It’s on the west side of San Vicente between Melrose and Santa Monica Blvds.

This show features our first-ever visual artist reception, as well as some major performance mojo coming from across the country. At 3 pm, Trans/Giving’s reception will give our painters, photographers, and illustrators a chance to shine. The artists include s.g. reichen (Baltimore), Zeo Scott (Portland), elijah* corbin (Portland), Dandy, and Naomi Likover; they will be available for walkthroughs and questions!

Performances start at 6pm, and our fantastic lineup as of this release includes: Thea Hillman, Depending on the Light; San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion, intersex activist, and former board member of the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA); Evan Kail: Founder of Cliterati and House of Poets; and Eva Sweeney: founder and director of Queers on Wheels, who is giving a seminar on being sexual and disabled to help us explore and better understand this part of the GLBTQ community, and alternative ways of expressing sexuality. Razi Michael, UCLA's finest (in every sense of the word) trans activist, brings his new klezmer band for some queer after-shabbos meshugas.

This is also our first show that will offer ASL interpreters for signing d/Deaf and HOH members of our community! We hope this increases the relevance of Trans/Giving, opening our series to the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) members of our trans and queer communities. Our interpreters are Jon Wolfe Nelson (In Good Hands Interpreting) and Kevin Williams, who has worked with such events as Long Beach Pride Festival 2005, Los Angeles-CSW Pride Festival 2005, and San Francisco Pride Festival 2005.

SHOP AT TRANS/GIVING—many of our artists bring books, cds, and other goodies to help defray their travel costs! So here's your chance to help an artist and to do some early holiday/gift shopping for that cute queer elf you've had the hots for. Remember—real queers love art!

Y'all cannot miss this show, folks! Suggested donation is $5-20, with no one turned away for lack of funds. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.transgiving.org!
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[21 Jul 2005|12:16pm]

I've got a question for the interpreters out there regarding clothing.

Traditionally, interpreters wear black if they have light skin, and white (or other light colors) if they have darker skin. Now, I'm not a big fan of black, so I tend to wear different colors, and have always figured as long as they're dark enough, I'm fine. Many of my deaf friends have told me one thing they hate is sitting in class day after day with an interpreter who never mixes things up a little. That was one of my friend's biggest peeves with his interpreter at school- she wore nothing but black. What do you guys wear?

Also, how modestly do you dress? When I was in an ITP program, my teacher was very adamant about interpreters basically dressing as conservatively as possible. He said turtlenecks would be ideal, but no one should ever wear anything that dips below the collarbone. Now, I don't know about you, but wearing a turtleneck everyday for the rest of my life isn't on my agenda. I understand his desire to make sure we weren't wearing low-cut tops where our chest was being exposed, but really... turtlenecks?

6 comments|post comment

[04 May 2005|10:38pm]

What's the difference in being "an interpreter" and a "certified signer"?

7 comments|post comment

[13 Apr 2005|09:48am]

Code of Ethics question (I think).

I went to a workshop on Saturday that was taught by two Level 5 ASL interpreters. Since I am only in the beginning of my Interpreter's Training Program, I am not too familiar with the ins and outs of the Interpreter's Code of Ethics. The segment that was being taught was about sometimes you have to "push the boundaries and use common sense". But you have to do it with maturity and foresight.

The interpreter said she knows that (in the following scenario) she "did everything wrong and didn't follow the code of ethics. But she did it to possibly save a man's life." (This actually happened)

My question is: What part of the Code of Ethics does this violate? I can't figure it out and hope I will learn something if someone can tell me what it is.

I'll post this in script format for easier reading:

State Hospital, ICU Ward

At 3:00am the interpreter is contacted and asked to go to the hospital to interpret.

Doctor: You're the 6th interpreter who has been called. None of the others could talk any sense into this guy. If you can't help, I'm through with all of you. Whatever happens, happens. He has a brain tumor ready to rupture. It must be operated on now. He must sign the paper in order for me to operate. He refuses to sign the paper.

Interpreter enters the Deaf man's room and assesses the situation. She knows nothing about him other than what the doctor just told her. The man is watching TV.

Interpreter: Signs to the man "Do you like to watch TV?"
Man: Yes.
Interpreter: How would you feel if you couldn't watch TV anymore?
Man: Looks at interpreter.
Interpreter: You know, if you don't sign the paper, you could die. Do you know what dead means?
Man: Yes.
Interpreter: If you're dead, no more TV.
Man: No more TV?
Interpreter: That's right. If you don't sign the paper, you can't have the operation. If you don't have the operation, you will die. If you die, no more TV.
Man: I like TV. I want to watch TV. Where's the paper?

The man signs the paper.

Now, what did the interpreter do or say that is against the COE? I am really curious.

By the way. The interpreter went back to the hospital a week later to visit the man. He had a big bandage on his head and he was watching TV. The doctor said the operation was a success.
31 comments|post comment

[11 Apr 2005|05:12pm]


I really enjoy this community and getting so many good ideas and insight. I am currently taking ASL II. Lots of grammar … and I'm struggling. But, I realized the other day that the reason I'm struggling is because I am such a "word thinker".

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I have a real problem visualizing what I want to say. And since ASL is all visual, I'm getting lost. My question is: How can I become a more visual thinker? I know that once I find the secret to this, ASL will open up for me and I will be able to reach my goals.

Does anyone know of any books or videos or anything that can help me?

Thank you so much.


11 comments|post comment

hey y'all! [04 Apr 2005|01:49am]

hey guys, I just stumbled across this community and had to join!!

I'm 17 years old and a senior in high school. I'm from Nebraska. And I'm deaf, of course.

I've been blessed, I've had good interpreters pretty much my entire school career. Some of them are even my friends outside of school. But there are always exceptions...

in high school I would sometimes get the worst subs ever. I was in a lot of honors and AP classes at school so that was bad considering some of these subs couldn't even keep up with the pace of the class. I had this one terp who would constantly fall asleep, read trashy romance novels, or go "Sorry, I don't know how to say that word. I dunno how to spell that. That wasn't important. You don't need to know that. I'm so tired of signing, I'm gonna rest my hands now." and I'm like, what the fuck? I don't care, it's your friggin' JOB to interpret what's going on. I guess that didn't matter because she couldn't even keep up with the damn class anyway. I had better luck reading the teacher's lips. ha.

And this other one I had in my junior year, she was kind of a "permanent" sub, because one of our regulars was on personal leave for a while. she was in my physics class, which was super easy in itself, so it wasn't like i was struggling with anything in there. (i pretty much played my gameboy and did crosswords in there the entire year) anyway, whenever we were assigned book work or a worksheet to do, she would sit across my table and try to help me. she would try to tell me what certain words meant and how to get certain answers. and i'm like thinking "you dumbass, i know what that word fucking means. i know how to do this shit, i didn't ask for your help. i don't need your help, i'm not retarded." ... i had to tell her to back off a lot. jeeez.

i've talked to the head interpreter (who is fantastic by the way) about these terps before and she said she knows they are not the best terps ever but they are the best we can get, since my school is being a tightwad with hiring new QUALIFIED terps. the terp in my physics class wasn't even certified, if ANYTHING she should have been interpreting for elementary school, not high school. gah.

well, these are my stories... ha. for the most part i've been lucky, but of course, there are always exceptions.
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