Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not quite a blogger

I thought that by setting up a blog and connecting it to my site that I would somehow become a blogger. I figured that since I was already writing about my project and talking about it with people, that blogging would come easy. It ended up becoming one more thing to do when I was already involved with a laborious process so I didn’t make blogging about it a priority. I’m much more apt to be using Twitter and “microblogging” than I am to be writing lengthier posts.

Now that I’ve done the bulk of my project and have an actual piece of paper that says I have earned my MA and completed this major, I have more time to actually communicate to people what it is that I was working on and what I discovered.

I have done all the traveling I am going to do this year. The conferences and trainings are over, now it’s time to slide into the holidays. I’m in wrap up mode getting into the video footage so I can officially end this project and get to my others.

more soon....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Begining the Transition from Analog to Digital at Ohlone

This ended up being a silent video since the audio wasn't very interesting and I don't have the rights to use any music (just yet).

The video is just under 3 minutes and chronicles, in a nutshell, getting the computers out of the box and into the classroom, connected and ready to use.

Learning how to use the applications effectively is another story and is the next chapter in this adventure.

In the few weeks since the computers were unveiled I've created some cheat sheets for the students and instructors to get themselves going with iMovie. They're using that program as the basis for their voice to sign work, and to some extent their sign to voice work too. Aside from getting the process down some students are also having individual troubles, for example, saving to an external hard drive and opening up their .mov on their PCs. One work around they've adopted is emailing files to themselves and even uploading video clips to YouTube. This has great benefits for mentoring, as students can easily show their mentors samples of their work for review and feedback.

I'm only on campus once a week, if that, so I'm unfortunately not able to see the day to day interactions the IPP folks are having with their new equipment. Seems like they're getting their work done one way or another, even if it's a round a about method that was frustrating to figure out. That's part and parcel of being a techno-pioneer. I think overall everyone has been a good sport and is happy to be moving in this digital direction that they're motivated to work through the bumps in the learning curve.

Thanks to everyone who has been toughing it out and making the best of this transitional period, and those of you supporting us. Please keep your tech questions coming. Even if I can't answer them I'll try my best to lead you in the right direction.

Next up...visiting other programs.


Reposted Revision

Sunday, April 27, 2008
Revised Abstract

Video analysis of one’s work is an integral component of sign language interpreter training. Most interpreter training programs (ITPs) have a language lab component to their curriculum for students to be able to record and review their practice translations. Using the Ohlone College Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) in Fremont, California as a case study, this project explores and documents how an ITP transitions from analog to digital video technologies. Like many other training programs, Ohlone has used analog-based VHS equipment since it first became available on a consumer level. Now that digital video technologies are more prevalent and accessible the Ohlone IPP is interested in exploring these new resources. Ohlone IPP is transitioning its language lab from analog to digital with Apple's Intel iMac. This consumer-level computer with built-in video camera and range of basic audio and video applications make it a viable choice as the foundation of their new language lab. Designing and implementation of an inservice training for both instructors and students is an integral component to the lab redesign.

The goals of this project include: redesign of lab infrastructure (hardware, software and furniture), and design and implementation training to guide the instructors and students on how to use the new equipment and workflow. The training consists of an instructor led workshop and a multimedia tutorial. The instructional content is based on current analog practices adapted for a digital environment, already existing applicable tutorials, and information gleaned from other ITP labs using similar technologies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Interpretopia gets honorable mention

I feel like I have just hit a blogging milestone, I got a shout out on someone else’s site! fromourlips.blogspot.com/2007/01/interpretopia.html

Thanks to all y’all who linked on over to check out this site. These folks are writing a book about how interpreters are changing the world.

That’s how we roll here at interpretopia -- sharing the interpreter love and unity worldwide.

Been absorbed in my final project... you can check it out by clicking on the "research" link to the right.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Communicating with Deaf students: Reinforcing verbal info visually-video

Another video vignette in the same series for hearing instructors working with deaf students in their classes. A simple example of how to reinforce verbal information visually. This approach is beyond being an accommodation for an individual student and usually benefits the entire class.

Instructor: Dr. Brian Beatty (Dept. of Instructional Technologies, SFSU)
Interpreter: Lolita White, CI, CT (Staff interpreter SFSU)
Deaf student: Matt Anderson
Students: Paul Carlson, Dee Glaim, Sharif Rashedi, Lin Tran, Joseph "Pepe" Wagnon

Lighting and Camera: Ryan Hildebrandt
Produced and edited by Nicole Montagna

Produced at San Francisco State University
Special thanks to the Instructional Technologies Department and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services of the DPRC.

Fun facts:
This was a Deaf/Interpreter collaboration.
Two-thirds of the students in the class are Deaf.
This video was filmed in one day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Communicating with Deaf people through an Interpreter

It got to the point where I was saying "Please speak to the Deaf person directly, you don't have to tell me to tell him/her" in my sleep! I couldn't stand it anymore so I made this video in 2006.

Instructor: Melissa Perkins
Interpreter: Jennifer Mantle, CI, CT
Deaf student: Alison Loughran
Note-taking student: Kat Shattuck
Other students: Jesada Pua, Sharif Rashedi

Produced by: Nicole Montagna
Camera: Paul Carlson

Produced at San Francisco State University
Special thanks to the Instructional Technologies Department and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services of the DPRC.

Fun facts:
This was a Deaf/Interpreter collaboration, everyone involved in the production signs.
All the students in the class are Deaf except for the "notetaker" who is an interpreter.
Both the instructor, interpreter and producer are actual interpreters.
This video was filmed in one day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thinking Globally, Interpreting Locally

In the same vein that some people follow a band on tour or subscribe to season tickets, I enjoy attending international gatherings of sign language users. In the summer of 1997, between my first and second year of the Ohlone College Interpreter Preparation Program, I ended a month-long backpacking trip around Europe interpreting at the World Games for the Deaf in Copenhagen (the actual end of my trip was spent in Paris, throwing plates on the floor of a Greek restaurant with Michael Velez, but that’s another story). I was invited to be a part of the WGD interpreting team because I was willing to show up of my own volition and volunteer.

I relied on my experience socializing with international Deaf students while a visiting student at Gallaudet a few years prior, as well as interactions with Deaf folks while traveling around Europe, as the basis of my International Sign (IS) skills. While the high-profile meetings and ceremonies were interpreted by more experienced professionals, I got my hands wet (literally!) interpreting events like the swimming competition. Standing next to scantily-clad, buff athletes by their starting blocks, I signed the introduction of the competitors as loud as I could in an effort to be seen by fans sitting in the bleachers at the other end of the swimming hall. I was supported by my team interpreter who held up a list of their names and the countries they represented. Part of the challenge was not to fall into the pool while walking along the slippery tiled edge, from one swimmer over to the next. The medal ceremonies were the most fun. Poised next to the award podium I interpreted a formulaic “1st PLACE, MEDAL, NAME, fingerspell name, COUNTRY, their national country sign”, pause for applause, “2nd PLACE, MEDAL, NAME…” which awarded me the best view in the house. The floral bouquets and shiny medals were presented right in front of my eyes, as the flags of the Olympians’ homelands were raised with pride. After the games, two of the more experienced IS interpreters invited several of us to interpret at the Gay Games in Amsterdam the following year.

It was hard enough for me to scrape together the means for this European adventure that I didn’t think I would be able to get myself to the Netherlands in a year. The old adage is true: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and I somehow managed to get myself there. The Gay Games were a hearing event with an accessibility committee; of which Deaf access was a component. Most of the interpreting was from English into International Sign; select events were interpreted from spoken Dutch into their national sign language, Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). There were about two dozen of us who met a few days before the games began to practice using IS, rehearse for the opening and closing ceremonies, and otherwise prepare. We were an eclectic group mostly from Europe and the United States; Deaf, CODA and NERDA (Not Even Related to a Deaf Adult) interpreters with varying degrees of experience, especially in international settings. In addition to the sporting competitions, of which only a few were interpreted, there were a host of cultural events. One of my tasks included the honor of being on the team interpreting the storytelling festival, chronicling the lives of queer people from developing nations. The entire experience was truly poignant and still resonates with me.

In 2002, I eagerly attended the World Symposium for Sign Language Interpreters that preceded Deaf Way II, both taking place in Washington, D.C. I left my solid-colored shirts at home and enjoyed the conference and festival as a participant. I was so inspired by the infusion of international energy that a few months later when I co-chaired the NorCRID conference, we featured Steve Walker and Mark Morales, two esteemed Deaf IS interpreters, presenting on interpreting in international settings. At the symposium, the working group announced that the first official congress to establish an international organization of sign language interpreters would be held in South Africa in a few years. That few years later is now almost two years ago and I have beautiful memories of my time in Cape Town (we've met again this past summer in Spain as well, but again that's another story).

Being exposed to and involved with International Sign has expanded my signing skills, horizons and connections to people and places around the world. I believe that the ability of signers to transcend geo-political boundaries is an example and an act of peace on earth. The continued efforts of this global community to meet face-to-face and develop mutual understanding represents the possibilities of human communication. Attending these special events allows me to connect with something greater than myself. Participating in this international community continues to give me hope, restore my faith in humanity, and re-energize my daily interpreting practice. Looking forward to an international event helps keeps me motivated while maintaining a busy interpreting schedule. These experiences are so rich and profound I can only begin to encapsulate their magic in this article. As I have been welcomed, I invite you, my colleagues, to join in, participate, and experience this exciting movement for yourselves.