If you participate in any form of social media, you have undoubtedly seen the many pop culture songs which have been translated into sign language, most commonly ASL. One of the most recent videos featured the popular Frozen song, “Let It Go”. The video, published by D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network), features Jason Listman and Amber Zion, two professional Deaf performers. This is just one example of the many videos D-PAN produces which serves “to promote opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing professionals, as well as make popular music and the surrounding mainstream music culture more accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities.”
One of D-PAN’s most influential videos featured Deaf and hard of hearing performers from throughout the United States signing an ASL interpretation of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change”. This song resonated with many Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, who have long been discriminated against and oppressed by the mainstream hearing culture. It was through this video that D-PAN realized the potential their unique mission had for making a cultural impact.
D-PAN was founded by Sean Forbes, Joel Martin, Scott Guy, and Ronald Dans. These men, both Deaf and hearing, believe that music should not only be enjoyed by all, but can also be used as a tool to promote cultural reconciliation, acceptance, and equal opportunity in the industry. “’In the future we could get into so many different things,” Sean confirms. “My goal is to create opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing performers, directors, cinematographers, graphic design artists…. I see it developing relationships with hearing people, which doesn’t happen that much. Just like me working with Joel and Scott; I would love to have those opportunities for other deaf people.’”
Thanks to organizations like D-PAN and individuals like Sean Forbes, beautiful ASL music videos unite hearing and Deaf cultures.
Educational interpreting is arguably the predominant setting in which most ASL interpreters work. From kindergarten classrooms to college lecture halls, educational interpreters are the channel through which thousands of Deaf students receive their education in sign language.
For K-12 classrooms, the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) is the test used to measure classroom interpreting skills. Interpreters who take this test are given a score of 0 (no skills demonstrated) to 5 (advanced native-like skills) in various skill areas. While this test is an extremely useful tool in measuring interpreters’ educational interpreting skills, a national standard score has not been established to delineate a “qualified” interpreter. Because of this, states are left to set up their own standards for the minimum EIPA score required to be considered a qualified educational interpreter.
Currently state requirements range from an EIPA score of 3.0 to 4.0, with five states requiring a 4.0 (California included), sixteen states requiring a 3.5, three states requiring a 3.0, and six states requiring RID Certification.
It’s helpful to know what these numbers represent. According to the EIPA website, a score of 3.0 or 3.5 is considered “intermediate” and represents an individual who “would be able to communicate very basic classroom content, but may incorrectly interpret complex information resulting in a message that is not always clear.” A score of 4.0 or 4.5 is considered “advanced intermediate” and represents an individual who “would be able to convey much of the classroom content but may have difficulty with complex topics or rapid turn taking.”
Nebraska made headlines this week as its state Board of Education considers raising the state EIPA score requirement from the current 3.5 to a 4.0. John Wyvill from the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing explains the need for raising the state standard:
“Simply put, educational interpreters with inadequate interpreting skills render the classroom incoherent. The bottom-line takeaway is that clearly many deaf and hard of hearing students are being left behind, and they’re being left behind because the interpreter is not offering full access.”
However, this proposal is receiving criticism as opponents argue a higher requirement will cause a shortage of qualified interpreters who can work in the school districts. Nebraska currently has 101 working Nebraska educational interpreters, but imposing stricter regulations would allow only 23 of those interpreters to continue working in the educational system.
Advocates for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are arguing that a lack of qualified interpreters should not prevent raising the quality of educational interpreting. State officials acknowledge there are several issues that need to be resolved before this new standard could be imposed without negatively impacting the educational system for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children by causing a severe interpreter shortage. The state will need to give its educational interpreters time and resources to improve their skills and re-test for a higher score.
During the singing of the National Anthem by Tony award-winning actress and singer Idina Menzel at the Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, you may have noticed the National Anthem was also signed, by Deaf actress Treshelle Edmond. Edmond has been a guest star in television shows House, M.D. and Glee, as well as playing a prominent acting role in Deaf West Theater’s “Spring Awakening.”
This performance of the National Anthem in two languages during the biggest football game of the year is due to the partnership between PepsiCo and the National Association of the Deaf. Their partnership began in 2008 with “Bob’s House,” an ASL ad run during the Super Bowl pre-game show, and has continued with the annual sponsorship of a Deaf performer signing the National Anthem on the field. This humorous silent commercial featured a popular Deaf culture joke, created and performed by Deaf individuals from the Pepsico workforce, EnAble. If you haven’t already seen it (or if you have!), watch it below:
In 2011, the NAD teamed up with the NFL and Fox Broadcasting Company, the network airing Super Bowl XLV, for a historic achievement – the first Super Bowl to be fully captioned, including all national commercials and promotions. While the Super Bowl game had been captioned for years, not all commercials had accompanying captions, excluding the Deaf and hard of hearing community from the newest creative ads that keep Americans talking for days.
In subsequent years, PepsiCo and NAD have continued to unite the hearing and Deaf worlds by bringing various Deaf actors and performers onto the field to perform the National Anthem in ASL alongside the sung performance. In 2013, John Maucere took to the football field to sign the National Anthem alongside singer Alicia Keys, and in 2014, Amber Zion signed alongside singer Renée Fleming.
For the Super Bowl 2015 National Anthem, Treshelle Edmond took to the field and NBC gave her continual coverage, showing Edmond and Menzel’s performances side-by-side. Props to NBC!
We love PepsiCo’s dedication to featuring the artistry and linguistic importance of American Sign Language on a national level, and hope to see ASL in the spotlight even more in future years!
Deaf rapper Sean Forbes’s new single “Crazy About You” is an inspiring video that may surprise the general public. Sean Forbes’s stardom is rising as a result of his new video which can be currently viewed on his website, “Deaf and Loud”.. Sean’s story as a Deaf rapper is inspiring – his parents purchased him a drum set when he was only five years old. He quickly progressed to write songs and play guitar at the age of ten.
Deaf Rappers are nothing new:
This isn’t the first time Deaf rappers have made noise on the internet. In this Spin article, they cover Darius McCall (also known as Prinz-D) – a 34 year old Deaf rapper from Birmingham, Alabama that struggled to start but recently put out his first album called, “Southern Comfort” in 2005. You can see his single from his most recent album, “First Deaf Rapper Vol 2” below.
Check out Deaf Rapper Sean Forbes and Signmark below:
For additional information and to apply, click here and select job 5640.
Full-time, temporary position anticipated to end on or December 31, 2015 with the possibility for reappointment and/or permanency.
Under the supervision of the Director, the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Access Coordinator provides lead work direction and coordination to individuals providing interpreting and related support services for Deaf and/or Hard-of-Hearing consumers. In addition, the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Access Coordinator regularly perform interpreting services within the educational setting. The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Access Coordinator is responsible for effectively assessing student needs, evaluating the language and interpreting skills of interpreters, and making successful matches between students and interpreters.
This position’s work direction typically involves assigning and scheduling employees, taking into consideration a student’s needs and preferences and the employee’s skills; arranging for substitutes; orienting and training new employees in university procedures; providing instructions on work procedures; facilitating and participating in in-service training activities; assisting in the recruitment and selection of employees through skill evaluations; monitoring work quality and providing input to performance evaluations; reviewing timesheets; and serving as a resource to employees on technical, confidential, and sensitive matters.
Anticipated Hiring Salary Range: $4,975 – $5,272 per month (CSU Classification Salary Range: $4,975 – $10,744 per month). The competitive salary is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources.
Scheduling of Hourly Interpreters and Captionists
Works with students each semester by requesting class schedules, confirming need for services and consulting with student to ensure appropriateness of services for the classroom.
Assigns available interpreters and captionists with consideration to student’s need, interpreter or captionist’s skill level and style, and classroom subject matter.
Arranges for interpreters and captionists for interpreting or captioning appointments with professors, academic advisor, or other campus departments.
Coordinates requests for services for special events related to student’s academic requirements, such as internship, travel abroad, or class activities outside regular class time but required for course credit.
Coordinates with contracted interpreter and captioning agencies to assure student needs for services are met.
Manages requests for interpreting and captioning services that are last minute and time sensitive, according to department policy.
Notifies interpreters, captionists and contracted agencies of schedule changes and updates.
Substitutes for other interpreters as needed.
Maintains tracking system for all interpreting requests and scheduled events.
Maintains accurate record of interpreter and captionist hours worked and students served for payroll purposes.
Consults with Director and/or Associate Director to resolve problems between interpreters and students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Works a deaf or hard-of-hearing student to inform about and enforce department policy when student is absent from regularly scheduled classes.
Notifies Director and/or Associate Director in a timely manner of challenges or problems in fulfilling interpreting and captioning requests.
Lead for Hourly Interpreter and Captionist positions
Consults with and makes recommendations to Director and/or Associate Director regarding contracting with community-based interpreting agencies.
Assesses interpreter and captionist qualifications, including in-class monitoring of interpreters and captionists.
Provides in-service training and workshops, as needed, to maintain interpreting skill level.
Schedules and attends meeting of interpreters and captionists, as necessary.
Maintains professional contact with deaf community and with interpreters and captionists in the community.
Meets with other interpreters and captionists to review interpreting and captioning service related policies and as necessary, make recommendations for changes.
Implements policies related to code of ethics for interpreters and captionists.
Serves on search committees for interpreters and captionists.
Reviews certification of prospective interpreters and captionists and determines appropriateness for employment.
Makes recommendations of interpreters and captionists for hiring to Director and/or Associate Director.
Interprets classroom lectures, presentations and events from voice to sign, or sign to voice simultaneously with the presentation using American Sign Language or other appropriate sign systems.
May interpret for special events, such as field trips, student-faculty conferences, specials meetings and other co-curricular activities.
May interpret at SDSU convocation and commencement ceremonies and schedules other interpreters as needed.
Lead for Accommodation Specialist position
Provides lead work direction for Accommodation Specialist position whose main duty is to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students, SDSU faculty members and with campus resources to produce captions for videos and multi-media to be shown in the classroom.
Scheduling of interpreters and captionists for campus community.
Collaborates with campus community members to provide interpreting and/or captioning for guest speakers, campus presentations, and other campus events.
Other Administrative Duties
Collaborates with SDS staff to develop written materials related to policy for service delivery to students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Other job-related task or special projects that are appropriate to this classification,as assigned by the Director.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Thorough knowledge of the interpreting process; ASL and the methods and techniques used in communicating with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing consumers; demonstrated understanding of the special communication needs of Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing consumers; comprehensive understanding of Deaf Culture, working knowledge of platform interpreting techniques; working knowledge of the vocabulary, terminology, and basic information in a variety of subjects; and specific knowledge of specialized vocabulary and techniques used in interpreting professional and technical subject matter; standard supervisory and training techniques; demonstrate a thorough understanding of student and classroom needs in a university setting; possess a thorough knowledge of nationally recognized certification requirements, such as those recognized by RID and NAD; and possess a thorough understanding of appropriate interpreter protocols and the RID Code of Professional Conduct. Lead Interpreters also should be familiar with Assistive Listening Devices.
Ability to interpret effectively at a level that requires using unique terminology and language; effectively shift between ASL or a manual sign system to spoken English and vice versa in highly interactive situations, such as discussions, workshops, seminars and platform settings; interpret difficult and complex terms, concepts, ideas and emotions; learn unique subject matter, theories, and terminology; provide accurate, thorough, and comprehensive services; and be responsive to students’ communication needs and preferences; facilitate and provide technical skills training; demonstrate organizational skills related to scheduling; assess student needs and interpreter skills to make effective matches between students and interpreters; demonstrate fluency of ASL and English vocabulary and ability to voice and match the appropriate register to the situation; and provide lead work direction to others.
Experience and Education
Broad acquaintance with academic higher education through attendance at or graduation from a four-year college or university in order to effectively understand student needs in various university settings and ensure effective delivery of interpreting services. Incumbents must have sufficient experience to demonstrate skills and abilities necessary to provide lead work direction, including effectively evaluating capabilities of interpreters. Typically, three to four years of relevant experience are required.
Lead Interpreters must possess and maintain skills certification in both interpreting and transliteration from RID or possess and maintain NIC Advanced (National Interpreter Certification) certification issued by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or comparable certification.
Bachelor degree. Five to ten years of relevant experience.
Working knowledge of the processes and principles used in providing real-time captioning via computer-aided transcription and CART.
Familiarity with the processes and principles used in providing captioning for video and multi-media.
Review of applications will begin on Friday, February 13, 2015; position will remain open until filled. The on-line application should be completed in detail. COMPLETION OF THE ONLINE APPLICATION IS REQUIRED FOR CONSIDERATION, A RESUME ALONE WILL NOT SUFFICE.
To apply for this position, please click on the “Apply Now” button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the “Submit” button. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Employment Opportunities Website.
Applicants with disabilities requiring special attention and/or interview arrangements may call (619) 594-7099.
SDSU employees are required to sign an Oath of Allegiance.
The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
This position may be funded by a qualifying federal contract, requiring new hire employment verification to be processed through the E-Verify program administered by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHSUSCIS), in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
This position may be a “designated position” under the Conflict of Interest Code. Candidates accepting a “designated” position will be required to file Conflict of Interest forms subject to the regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Employees who are required to operate motorized vehicles and/or use their personal vehicle more than once a month on University business are required to take a mandatory Defensive Driving course and enroll in the DMV Employee Pull Notice (EPN) Program.
This position may require a background check, including, but not limited to employment verification and evidence of degree(s) and/or certification(s). The selected candidate will be required to submit fingerprints to the LiveScan Print Services. If required for the position, a background check must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with SDSU.
Equal Employment Opportunity
SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.