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How To Learn Sign Language

When To Use An Interpreter (American Sign Language) | Get To The Poynt #4

[music] Hello! Welcome to… I don’t know how to sign this series name. Someone help me with a sign name, please. Anyway, we’ll just spell it.
“Get To The Poynt!” Yeah, we need a sign name for this. Anyway, you ask me a question and
I try to answer it as quickly as possible. So I’ll just show you the question here. So I have a video related to this
which I’ll post a link to over here. If you haven’t watched it, go do so. A long time ago, I only used captions Growing up mainstreamed
with English and voice meant I was only using captions when I needed access. I was using captions at YouTube events. Now, I’m using both. What I use depends on what I’m doing. Most of the time, I use interpreters
for face-to-face conversation. If I’m on a panel, I use captions. Anyway, this isn’t the point. The point is how do you know when
you’re able to use an interpreter? That’s your decision. Personally, I don’t care if someone
thinks that I don’t need an interpreter. I know what kind of accessibility I need. When I could have conversations,
I knew I could use them. I don’t always understand everything,
but if I need help, I just ask. Don’t worry about what others might think. If you feel comfortable in knowing that
you know enough ASL, get them. Your accessibility is your decision. It’s your choice. In regardless to English and ASL ratio,
don’t even care about that. It’s whatever. You will know what you need. Are you comfortable with ASL? It’s your decision if you want to use them. If you’re comfortable with ASL, use interpreters. If not, then just use captions. Again, it’s your decision. Hopefully, that helps you some. If you have any questions for advice
on deafness, disability, mental health, then use this hashtag [only] on Twitter. Twitter is the only place I use this hashtag on. I’ll see you later. Bye.

24 Replies to “When To Use An Interpreter (American Sign Language) | Get To The Poynt #4”

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  • I was in that dilemma as well. About a year ago I started to learn asl on my own, then transitioned into taking ASL classes alongside earning my degree. Last fall, I finished taking ASL 2. This spring, I finished taking Intro to Deaf Culture. And I will be taking Signs of Everyday Use this fall.

    Even though I know I still have a long way to go to master ASL, I plan on asking for an interpreter in the fall. The reason for that is because 1) exposing myself to as much ASL as possible will help me gain a better understanding of the language and 2) even if it only helps me a little by confirming my initial understanding of what is being said, I feel that is a resource I should be taking advantage of.

    Hopefully this helps anyone else who is a similar predicament.

  • Here is my response to your video–to help with the sign name for the video series.

  • I started using interpreters in eleventh grade of high school and I've only started learning ASL. I used the meaning of the spoken English words and the corresponding sign to add to my vocabulary. If you are a Deaf person who knows that you're missing key information even with all of the accommodations, ask for an interpreter. Try out what it's like to have an interpreter in a practice class. I did that and I'm so happy because it was the best decision for me 🙂

  • I 100% agree, ask for what works best for you. If a terp works for you ask for a terp. if not ask for other accommodations. Not everyone is the same. some deaf and HOH people sign well and dont know verbal or written lang well. Other like myself and Rikki are still learning to sign. Lucky for myself I don't need any accommodations right now. Because I am hard of hearing and My lip reading skills have improved. like I understood everything Rikki was saying in the video without signing or captions. ;D But I am probably going to need some kind of help in the next few years. So ask for what best works for you.

  • This was my question! Thank you so much, this is super helpful and affirming. I asked for an interpreter at one thing so far (I've been out of practice as I don't have people in my in-person life who know ASL or are learning it, which is really demotivating) and the answer was pretty much "unfortunately we can't afford one" (usually at community groups or marches that I go to, for being trans and other stuff) and I have heard this in other situations as well. It makes me feel guilty asking for one and I know if the situation were reversed I would be looking into grants for that kind of thing or to fundraise for it rather than just shutting it down outright.
    Thankfully folks have met other needs I've asked for in lieu, like letting me sit near enough to speakers to read lips/facial expression to combine with the sounds I do get to try and figure out what's being said. My partner will also repeat what's being said as it's being said directly beside me in a way she knows I am more likely to hear (spacing out specific words, changing pitch from what the other person is saying, speaking right beside me by my ear kind of thing) but I know having an interpreter would have helped me at a lot of these things. This makes me feel a lot better about having asked, and more confident asking in the future. Thank you so much for answering this.

  • I ask because the series name is a pun on your last name. Do Deaf people have name signs for last names?

  • *Thinking*… Sign of point, you know. Index finger to the other index finger but in your case "poynt", use your sign name and point it to another index finger. Just an idea! Or something, just lead up to that point sign.

  • Great Advice Rikki! I actually was just at the Conference for NCRID, and there was a HoH presenter who says that regardless how well you sign, if you sign, ask for one. Even if you speak. Tell the interpreter what you want and need, so that way you can get full access to what you need in so many forms you can rely on.

  • Hi rikki one you can use for sign is the index finger points straight at other index with a PAH maybe? 🙂 will send vid to show what me and friends mean soon:) have good day.

  • Does anyone know where I can start learning British Sign Language (or universal or American)? I love to learn spoken languages but I have been wanting to learn sign language since I was a young child, I saw a woman on the underground signing to (I'm assuming) one of her friends, I've been so interested since then!

  • Thank you so much for doing this video, it is so affirming. I grew-up mainstream and just finished my level 2. I feel comfortable enough but feel almost like a fraud and was unsure when to get an interpreter. I was advised not to bother until I have better sign language so for my first year of uni I went without and found it a huge struggle. I feel a lot more comfortable requesting one now. I am still very nervous because tutors and class members are used to me not having that sort of access but during my few times of having access to an interpreter I found it quite blissful and a lot easier to understand stuff.

    I would like to know if you (or anyone reading this comment) stop using speech as well with one(interpreter)? I am unsure how to act, as ideally I'd have an interpreter to tell me what is being said while I simply respond with speech. Although I am worried about many things, mostly how I would be treated by the interpreter and others around me.

    I guess it's just about being confident about asking for what you need and ignoring what negative stuff others have to say about it (or view it as).

  • These videos are so wonderful and informative. I'm going to be a teacher (im hearing) and it's important to me to know what kinds of things the deaf and hard of hearing community are concerned about so that I can make my future classrooms as welcoming and accessible as possible.

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