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“Deaf Centered Interpreting: Collective Learning Experience” video

Video Description:

Tom, a white man in his early 60s with graying blonde hair, wearing glasses and a blue shirt appears on screen.  He signs ASL.


In most hearing spaces, being polite and respectful means being passive, listening and taking copious notes. Questions are held until the appropriate time, and you indicate your need for a question by raising your hand. It's a very particular way of attending and participating which can be described as individualistic. When you're in a deaf space. It's very different. It's much more engaged. People are much more engaged, more interactive.  There's much more back channeling. There's much more comprehension checking going on amongst the deaf audience. It's very different compared to that of a hearing space. My major was Psychology at Gallaudet. There was one professor who was hearing, who was very strict about talking in class. Making quick side comments among ourselves in class, even though that's what came naturally to us to do our comprehension checks with a deaf classmate as one does in a deaf space.

This was a hearing professor who was insisting on applying hearing norms in their classroom because they felt that by asking our fellow student, if we understood correctly, that we were impinging on that student from obtaining information at that moment of the lecture. That, I feel was misguided. This professor was imposing hearing rules in what should have been a deaf space. This learning style is based on the collective nature of the Deaf community.

Video Description:

Green circles overtake the video of Tom, leaving the text within black and white banners, “Collective Learning Experience. Deaf Centered Interpreting. The NDC logo is at the bottom of the screen.

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