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.

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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

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Living Loud: Curtis Pride, Major League Baseball Player

Living Loud: Curtis Pride, Major League Baseball Player

Deaf Culture   |  Monday, April 13, 2015

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.

This article is part of our "Living Loud" series, which highlights famous people who are deaf or hard of hearing and their impact in the world.

Curtis Pride was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player - he was the first full-season deaf player in the modern era of Major League Baseball. He is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University.  He has been awarded NEAC Couch of the Year (twice), the MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award for outstanding community service, and the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through the attributes of spirit, courage and determination. He was also appointed to the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Background

Curtis Pride was born deaf as a result of his mother having rubella (German measles) while she was pregnant.

He loved sports and, in addition to baseball, played soccer and basketball. In 1985 he was named one of the top 15 youth prospects in the world for soccer and was part of the U.S. soccer team that competed in the FIFA Under 16 World Championships (the Junior World Cup) in China. Afterwhich, he received a full basketball scholarship to attend William and Mary College, where he was a starter on the basketball team for four years while earning a degree in finance. During this time, he also signed with the New York Mets and played baseball in the Mets' system part-time. Curtis played his first Major League Baseball game in 1993 with the Montreal Expos.

A History-Making Player

“I had a lot of people that doubted my ability to play major league baseball because of my disability. It was important for me to talk about what I could do, not what I cannot do.”

Curtis Pride became the first full-season deaf player in the modern era of Major League Baseball (the first deaf player in the majors since Dick Sipek in 1945). Curtis said, “I had a lot of people that doubted my ability to play major league baseball because of my disability. It was important for me to talk about what I could do, not what I cannot do.”

Curtis played for six Major League Baseball teams during his career including the Detroit Tigers, 1996-1997; Atlanta Braves, 1998; Boston Red Sox, 1997 and 2000; Montreal Expos, 1993, 1995 and 2001; New York Yankees, 2003; and the Los Angeles Angels, 2004-2006. In 421 major league games, he compiled a .250 batting average with 20 home runs, 82 RBI’s and 29 stolen bases. His best season was for the Detroit Tigers in 1996 when he had a .300 batting average with 10 home runs, 31 RBI’s, and 11 stolen bases. 

Hear Curtis tell his story, watch this short (under 8 minutes) story about Curtis Pride:

Making a Difference

"Keep believing in yourself and good things will happen."

Curtis Pride established the Together With Pride Foundation, to encourage and support deaf and hard of hearing youth across a number of programs. These programs include scholarships, a hearing aid bank that supplies new and refurbished hearing aids to young people, literacy and mentoring support, and baseball and fishing clinics. He says to "Keep believing in yourself and good things will happen."

Because of his outreach and support for deaf and hard of hearing young people, he was awarded Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for outstanding community service and the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through the attributes of spirit, courage and determination.

Still in the Game

"Work hard, stay focused, and be positive."

Curtis Pride is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University. He was named NEAC Coach of the Year two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. He said he learned something from each of the coaches he played for in Major League Baseball and applies those lessons to his own coaching. Curtis encourages others to "Work hard, stay focused, and be positive."

In 2010, he was appointed to the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Curtis said, “It is truly an honor to be appointed to serve on the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. I am extremely excited about working with the other esteemed council members to support the President and First Lady’s initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle for children and adults throughout the country."

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

Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

Interpreter Tips   |  Thursday, April 2, 2015

By Brenda Cartwright

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the "Dear Abby" for the interpreting world - author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She will be contributing blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear Brenda" interpreter questions.

Dear Brenda,

I haven’t seen a particular interpreter at any workshops or conferences literally for years now. I know she doesn’t care about getting CEUs or losing her certification. She says "everyone knows my skills and will hire me anyway." Sure enough, she lost her certification and she's still out there interpreting all the time, and still charging top dollar. No one ever asks to see her card. It's business as usual, which is so frustrating for those of us who put in all the time and money into following the CMP program in a timely manner. Apparently, the rules don't apply to everyone, so why do we bother?

Signed,
Frustrated and Irritated

An Experienced Interpreter's Perspective:

It is too bad that all of us are not equally committed to keeping our knowledge, as well as our skills, up-to-date. We can only trust in the process and that someday their negligence will catch up to them. In the meantime, we should just worry about ourselves. I think we need to remind ourselves from time to time that our field is changing every week, there are new colleagues we meet, new hi-tech signs to learn, and new ethical issues to deal with. We, particularly the more seasoned interpreters who are looked up to by those entering our field, can only maintain our status by continuing to know who’s who and what’s what in our field.

Experienced Deaf Consumer's Perspective:

It is truly unfortunate that there are interpreters out there working who don’t believe and realize how important we believe it is for their career to keep up with current trends and issues. From my perspective this reflects some of the "not-so-great" attitudes we've dealt with over the years and it is certainly not acceptable by the Deaf community. On the other hand, those interpreters who continue to learn and enhance their skills are strongly favored by us. In the long run, I believe your attendance at workshops and conferences will only make you even more qualified and recognized by members the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.

Have you experienced this problem too? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
 

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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For the last 30 years Brenda has been the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about Brenda  |  Articles by Brenda

Iconic Signs Featured as the Sign of the Day

Learning Tips   |  Friday, March 20, 2015

By Jillian Winn

Next week, from March 22 through March 29, our Sign of the Days will feature iconic signs. Iconic signs convey the meaning of what is being signed. Look for the signs for HELLO, DRINK, EAT, AIRPLANE, CAR, BICYCLE, TYPE, and BALL.

You can see more iconic signs by visiting the Iconic Signs wordlist from the soon to be released book Activities in American Sign Language published by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Press. The book by Brenda Cartwright and Sue Bahleda groups signs by topic with practice sentences and great activities - a fun way to learn and practice American Sign Language.

Check out the wordlists that correspond with the book and watch for the book to be released soon!

 

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Tax Tips for Interpreters

Interpreter Tips   |  Monday, March 9, 2015

By Brenda Cartwright

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the "Dear Abby" for the interpreting world - author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She will be contributing blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear Brenda" interpreter questions.

Interpreters often do a lot of freelance / independent contractor work, and receive a Form 1099 at the end of the year to report their compensation.  When you are self-employed and do independent contractor work, there are several tax deductions that you can take advantage of.

Hopefully you have already been preparing yourself and organizing your taxes. Just in case you need it, here are some helpful hints:

  1. Take time to organize your information and all supporting documentation. Your estimated self-employment tax payments should be at least the same amount as in the previous years.
  2. The compensation received and reported on Form 1099 is reported on Schedule C, which is filed with your individual tax return. As a self-employed individual, you are eligible for business related expenses including advertising, office expenses, travel, and meals and entertainment. In most cases meals are limited to 50% of your incurred expense. Note: Make sure you save the receipt and write down with whom you were discussing business.
  3. For business related local transportation or overnight travel by car you can generally deduct either A) actual expenses or B) the standard mileage rate. Note: The 2014 standard mileage rate is $0.56 per business mile.
  4. Expenses for health insurance premiums may be 100% deductible. Self-employed individuals that are eligible for group insurance through their or their spouse’s employer are not eligible. Find out more about the Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction.
  5. CEU workshops and travel expenses may be deducted.
  6. Expenses related to a home office are deductible if you use a space in your home exclusively and regularly for administrative and management activities of your trade or business and you have no other fixed location where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities of the trade or business. Find out more about the Home Office Deduction.
  7. Office supplies, postage, dues and subscriptions are deductible.
  8. Keep your receipts!  Keep your receipts for all deductions for 7 years.  It helps to clearly label your receipts with the type of deduction and what business project / client it was accrued for.

Tax rules change and can vary depending on your specific situation. It is always wise to check with a Certified Public Accountant to see how what deductions are applicable to your tax situation.

 

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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For the last 30 years Brenda has been the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about Brenda  |  Articles by Brenda

2015 Read Across America Day

Learning Tips   |  Monday, March 2, 2015

By John Miller

Read Across America Day is every year on March 2nd - Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The whole month of March is also National Reading Month. The events are used to encourage reading and literacy.  Reading any book is great, but the National Education Association chooses a book every year and this year’s book is the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go.

Resources for this year’s Read Across America Day

Get the book:

Printable activities to accompany the book: 

Crossword - Oh, The Places You Will Go     Drawing Activity - Oh, The Places You Will Go     Counting Activity - Oh, The Places You Will Go

The Importance of Reading with Children

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 53 percent of children ages three to five are read to daily by a family member.1 Yet, children are significantly better at reading comprehension when parents read with them and encourage reading.2  Children who are read to at home do better in school.  Research shows they are better at knowing the alphabet, counting, writing their names, and reading.3 Additionally, the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency.4

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

For more information on Children's Literacy visit the National Education Association website.

Reading with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Over 90% of deaf or hard of hearing children are born to hearing families and there is often a lack of communication between hearing parents and their deaf child.  Using sign language when reading increases comprehension, which helps children become more engaged in the story being read and more interested in learning to read themselves.

Parents can use the word list feature on Signing Savvy to create a custom word list of signs that go with a book they are reading.  The Signing Savvy quizzing and digital flash cards features can be used to practice the signs from the word list and, of course, it is best to sign while reading the book.  This is a way for both parents and children to practice signing together and learn new signs.

Teachers can also create custom word lists of signs that are used from books read at school and then share those word lists with parents.  Then parents have great recommended books for signing and reading at home that align with the classroom curriculum. 

Some great tips for reading to deaf and hard of hearing children were outlined by David R. Schleper in the publication Reading to Deaf Children: Learning from Deaf Adults. The tips were developed through research of what deaf parents do when reading to their deaf and hard of hearing children.

Schleper's 15 Tips for Reading to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

  1. Translate stories using American Sign Language. Focus on concepts and use lots of fingerspelling.
  2. Keep both languages (ASL and English) visible. Make sure children see both the signing and the words and pictures.
  3. Elaborate on the text. Add explanations about the text to make it more understandable.
  4. Reread stories on a “story telling” to a “story reading” continuum. The first few times, make sure the student understands the story. Then, slowly, focus more and more on the text.
  5. Follow the child’s lead. What does the child wants to read? What if the child wants to read just one part of a book, then move to another? Follow the child.
  6. Make what is implied explicit. Make the hidden meaning clear.
  7. Adjust sign placement to fit the story. Sometimes sign on the page. Sometimes sign on the child. And sometimes sign in the usual place.
  8. Adjust the signing style to fit the story. Be dramatic. Play with the signs and exaggerate facial expressions to show different characters.
  9. Connect concepts in the story to the real world. Relate the characters to real events.
  10. Use attention maintenance strategies. Tap lightly on your child’s shoulder, or give a gentle nudge to keep his or her attention.
  11. Use eye gaze to elicit participation. Look at the child while reading.
  12. Engage in role playing to extend concepts. Act out the story after you have read it.
  13. Use ASL variations to sign repetitive English phrases. If you are using the same phrase over and over, vary the signs.
  14. Provide a positive and reinforcing environment. Encourage the child to share ideas about the story and support the child’s ideas.
  15. Expect the child to become literate. Believe in the child’s success and read, read, read!

These tips are from:

How ever you spend Read Across America Day or National Reading Month, we hope you enjoy a good book!

Resources:

 

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