Author Archives: nberlo01

10 Things Not to Say to a Deaf Person

This is an interesting article with some pointers how how (not) to interact with Deaf people.


Kids learning ASL

Check out this great video of a father teaching his son ASL.

Interview with Anna Witter Merithew on NPR

Check out this interview with Anna Witter Merithew on NPR about Lydia Callis, the interpreter for Mayor Bloomberg during Hurricane Sandy that got a ton of national coverage.


Here is what I had to say on Facebook about a skit on Chelsea Lately.

“I really appreciate that people think interpreting and ASL is neat, and I get that every group has to take some flack from comedians once in a while. I would also be remiss if I didn’t say something about this meme. Lydia Callis was doing nothing unusual. The facial expressions are a grammatical part of the language. If you didn’t use them you would be botching the language. This meme feels a little like walking into a restaurant and having everyone stare while you sign, but with a magnifying glass and slow motion capture. I think this video is pretty similar to blackface. You would never watch video of a person speaking Chinese, and make a video of yourself mimicking them in an exaggerated and stereotyped way and have people think its funny. It would clearly be racist and I think (hope) it would make people as uncomfortable as this video should. Somehow I don’t think that is the effect it is having.”

Fun Facts about Sign Language

Exploring Power and Privileges: Reframing Pledges

I went to a Reframing Retreat by Ryan Commerson and Alison Aubrecht last weekend. It was a great opportunity to think about the current issues facing the Deaf community, specifically those issues revolving around interpreting, and to brainstorm possibilities for change. At the end of the retreat, a few of us (Mary Ellen Baxter-Breen, Emily Claveau, and Paola Morales) put together a video with our pledges to this community. Check out what we did, and please feel free to add your own pledge.

Unfortunately this one is not captioned for any non-signers.


Defending Science

Phil Opitz sent me this article recently. I think it is a really interesting way of thinking about scientific debate. Sorting out “denialism” and scientific dialogue seems like a useful way of approaching all kinds of topics.

Lately I have been thinking about it as it relates to the interpreter certification system. There has been a lot of discussion between articles on Street Leverage, the RID, and elsewhere about the validity of the NIC. Some of it is denialism and some of it is actual scientific discourse, and I have found this distinction useful in trying to understand the entire issue.

“Soft Science”

Are social sciences soft science? Check out this article.