Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Other Life....

Melting glass isn't the only thing I do. I mention my other life occasionally but if you've ever seen me at a bead show, like the old Urban Glass Bead Expo, you'll see me conversing in American Sign Language.

It's my other life.

September through May I melt less glass and sign more.

I'm a self employed, freelance certified sign language interpreter hired to facilitate equal access. A fancy way to say I'm there make sure that the deaf people can "hear" and "talk" to the people around them who don't know how to sign.

Why? It's the law. But on a human level, it's easy to understand - no one should be left out.

So, I've posted a video from Equal Access where deaf people can speak for themselves. If you've never thought about the issue, it may come across strong but look beyond that and try to imagine how you'd feel if you weren't included in conversations or you went to the movies and you couldn't understand what was said or if people didn't answer your phone calls and hung up when they heard relay announce.

You understand why it needs to come across plainly. You'd do the same thing.


rosebud101 said...

Cindy, you have a tough job. As a former special ed teacher, I understand where you come from in your work. Your services are very much needed. Thank you for being the person you are.

Amanda said...

I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be a deaf person - I think it's absolutely awful that in our society, some people aren't considerate of those who have hearing problems. Or any other disability, for that matter.

What drove you to seek a career as a sign-language interpreter, Cindy?

angelinabeadalina said...

Thank you for doing what you do, Cindy! Everyone deserves a level playing field. I have a childhood friend who is deaf. Mike and his family lived far enough away from us that we only saw them once or twice a year. I often wonder just how difficult his daily routine is when his dad or brother or sister aren't around to help him communicate easily. They all learned ASL, so communication within the family is natural and easy, but I know it's not so comfortable with someone who doesn't understand what you are trying to say.