An ASL Dictionary

Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.

And Much More!

Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more

Sign of the Day - BLACK FRIDAY

Happy Thanksgiving!

General Interest   |  Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By Jillian Winn

We hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving! 

Did you notice the theme of our Signs of the Day for the past week?  Leading up to Thanksgiving, all of our Signs of the Day have been Thanksgiving related: 

We also have a Thanksgiving Coloring Page from our partners at WonderGrove Learn Animated Lessons with Sign Language that you can print out and color.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Coloring Page

 

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Certified Deaf Interpreters Explained

Interpreter Tips   |  Friday, November 14, 2014

By Marta Belsky

This article is by Marta Belsky. Marta is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 20 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users.

While the concept of Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) is not new, many people are not familiar with what they do, so misunderstandings can occur on how to utilize deaf interpreters.

What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)?

CDI’s are deaf or hard of hearing individuals who are nationally certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). They serve as an equal member of the interpreting team along with a certified hearing interpreter. The CDI interprets the message from the deaf consumer to the hearing interpreter and the hearing interpreter then relays the message to the hearing consumer.

Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) explained

When to use a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)?

A CDI is always a great addition to the interpreting team. Certified Deaf Interpreters have extensive knowledge and experience with deafness, the deaf community, and Deaf culture, in addition to having sign language as their native language – all of which can enhance the interpreting experience.

While a certified hearing interpreter may be adequate in many situations, CDIs are particularly useful when the communication mode used by the deaf consumer is unique, such as when they have minimal or limited communication skills or use signs that a hearing interpreter may not be familiar with (non-standard signs, "home" signs, a foreign sign language, regional signs, etc.).

It is important to remember that except for Children Of Deaf Adults (CODAs), American Sign Language is not the first language of hearing interpreters. CDI’s provide interpretation to the deaf consumer in their native language without the addition of an English accent and may also have a better understanding of what the deaf consumer is communicating.

Why to use a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)?

Some hearing interpreters may be hesitant to work with a CDI. They think, "I can interpret very well so there is no need for a deaf interpreter." Others feel "demoted" or "insulted" to have a Certified Deaf Interpreter working with them because they feel it indicates their own interpreting skills are lacking. Some may even feel intimidated to have a certified deaf interpreter "watching" them.

While all these feelings are understandable, hearing interpreters would not have those feelings if they had proper training and knowledge of how to utilize a Certified Deaf Interpreter.

Reasons to support the use of a deaf/hearing interpreting team include:

  1. Often when a deaf consumer meets a hearing interpreter they tend to worry about their English. With a CDI present they are more relaxed and express themselves more freely.
  2. When the hearing interpreter hears a question and signs it to the CDI they have the opportunity to double check if the message is the same when the deaf interpreter signs the question to the deaf consumer.
  3. The hearing interpreter can watch the deaf consumer’s answer and then watch the deaf interpreter sign it to double-check before voicing the answer.
  4. The deaf consumer has the advantage of being able to double-check as the deaf interpreter relays their message to the hearing interpreter.
  5. If there is confusion, the CDI and hearing interpreter can work together to better understand the message and provide the best interpretation.

More deaf interpreters are now obtaining CDI certification. Including a CDI as part of the interpreting team enhances the experience for the consumers (deaf and hearing), improves the service the hearing interpreter is able to provide, and makes communicating the message more successful.

Resources:

 

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About the Author

Marta Belsky Marta Belsky is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 20 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users. Marta is on the Lansing Community College Interpreter Training Program Advisory Board and has also been a board member for the Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Michigan Chapter of American Sign Language Teachers Association.

More about Marta  |  Articles by Marta

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