Anaheim Sign Language Interpreter On Translating COVID-19 News On Live TV
What’s it like interpreting O.C. press conferences?
I’m used to standing in front of a judge. He or she says three words, and I already know the rest of the paragraph because I’ve been doing this for a hundred years. But I’d never done anything live on television before.
What are the challenges?
There are lots of technical words or phrases that don’t have a direct translation in sign. Like PPE for personal protective equipment. I have to do an expansion, signing “masks, gloves, gowns, sanitizers.” I’m constantly thinking of these things: word meanings, sign choices, and (whether) I have enough time to slip in that quick explanation.
Are you worried at all for your own safety?
Not only me, but everyone in the press conference room has a sense of, we are now in a closed environment. We try our best to distance. I take precautions. I’m in that over-65 category—I’m 70—so I don’t take it lightly. At the same time, there’s this internal responsibility. I mean how are deaf people going to know about this if somebody isn’t relaying it to them?
On a different note, you once interpreted for President Reagan. What was that like?
First of all (laughs), there was social distancing then, too. I was standing next to the podium, and the Secret Service decides, nah, too close. Two of them placed themselves between me and the president. I’d set a water bottle on the floor and every time I leaned down to get it, so did they. It was funny and scary at the same time. I was afraid to make a wrong move!
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), effective communication is governed by the Deaf service user.
Deaf Heart Interpreting Agency is the creation of Juti Seshie, who also founded Love2ASL.com in 2008. Juti has been a professional certified sign language interpreter since 1968. Deaf Heart Interpreting Agency is a sister company to Deaf Heart Interpreter Development, which is focused on supporting the continued professional development and improvement of sign language interpreters for the Deaf. In addition to over half a century of professional interpreting experience, Juti has been actively training sign language interpreters for over 3 decades.
A child of Deaf parents, Juti is and always has been a passionate advocate for the Deaf community and Deaf culture. Founding the Deaf Heart companies enables Juti to pass on insights and a perspective of Deaf Heart to interpreters nationwide. Deaf Heart Interpreting Agency is committed to ensuring that Deaf people consistently receive the benefit of effective communication and parity with non-signers, as they should.