I Don’t Represent the Deaf Community

I was criticized by a deaf person for posting a one-minute long closed-captioned spoken video on YouTube the other day. The deaf person said that they were disappointed that I didn’t sign my video and that, being a sign language interpreter, I “represent the deaf community.” This is my response, signed and closed-captioned.

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

22 thoughts on “I Don’t Represent the Deaf Community”

  1. Ann_C: See what I mean? Just look at “Anon”‘s comments. That s why I said “your kind.”

    Sometimes you deserved to be patronized.

    R-

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  2. Thank you for captioning your videos. It’s very much appreciated. Don’t worry about those that demand you act a certain way or do things a certain way. Everybody is an individual and everybody is different from each other in different ways. Kudos to you for speaking your mind and again for subtitling your video.

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  3. Wow, thanks everyone for your comments!

    No, I would never dare to represent the deaf (or Deaf) community, and I am glad to see that you (even the original poster) don’t think I should.

    Nesmuth, I don’t see where you get the idea that interpreters are “deaf by association” in any sense, except maybe for CODAs who are culturally Deaf by native language and family heritage– and even CODAs are not _really_ Deaf.

    By the way, I have nothing against Deafhood. If y’all want to argue over it, that’s fine, but don’t say I started it. =)

    And I’m glad you appreciate the closed-captioning! Makes it worth the work.

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    1. I work so hard at improving my signing while the Deaf people around me do not lift a finger to improve their English. Closed-caption would not be a problem if a Deaf person decided to be bi-lingual.

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  4. Nesumth, I disagree. There’s too many terps who think they can jump in and dictate to the deaf community what is best for them.

    An interpreters’ job is only to translate from ASL to English and vice versa and nothing more.

    They are free to socialize in the deaf world. Nothing more.

    Let’s keep it that way.
    😉

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  5. Thanks for clarifying Daniel, I do appreicate it. I apologize for my previous post. I’d like to withdraw my previous post. Obviously, it was my mistake.

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  6. Nicely put. No, you shouldn’t feel that you represent the Deaf community…in fact, please don’t. As for signing on YouTube, if the topic has nothing to do with deaf people, then why do it?

    Captioning is fine for me and is the same as captioning in films and TV. It’s just when you speak directly to Deaf people that you should sign. In your recent video, you needed to separate specific signs out to be analyzed, so I could see why you didn’t sign the whole thing. Interesting and it worked. Maybe this is the exception.

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  7. No way, you do NOT represent Deaf community! I was perplexed to see your post appear on DR main page, though but hey, that is another example of evolution on DR that I do not come much, and soon no more…

    Anon 3:44 AM, you assume way too much! No wonder you hide yourself behind Anon!

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  8. You don’t have to represent the deaf community, you don’t have to represent the hearing-loss community, you don’t have to represent the hearing community, you don’t have to represent the gay community, you don’t have to represent anything except the USA citizen.

    I appreciate you for interpreting and working with many deaf and hearing-loss clients. Appreciation is something you might realize that it might be the empowerment to all of us. You have contributed anything for us to involve the conversation to work with the medical staffs, school staffs, and many, many more.

    Captioning is the reason why for anyone to learn and read. It helps us a great deal. Captioning has a great resource for everybody, especially the children to read and improve their english skills. As you know many children don’t like to read some books and want to play with their friends. So, captioning in everywhere is pretty convincing.

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  9. CC isn’t any longer sufficient. Someone is now becoming arrogant, demanding that an interpreter sign for the Deaf Community in a personal vlog. What’s these Deafhood folks gonna demand next? This is getting to be absurd.

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  10. I am inclined to agree.

    You may be a member of the Deaf community, but the role of interpreters is be neutral and as as a liaison to break down the communication barrier. All you do is interpret for other Deaf people. However that does not means you embody the ideas, the opinions, the ideologies of the Deaf world.

    You shouldn’t have to sign in your own user-created video. Hell, most people, hearing or deaf, don’t even caption their own videos. The only ones that do caption videos online tend to be corporations and governments.

    So why do you have to sign in your video blogs? It’s just user-content. It’s the collective mass that represent a community, not a single video blogger.

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  11. Deafie was wrong to claim that you represent the Deaf Community. Interpreters do not represent my community. Yes, they are part of the community but they do not represent my community.

    So I gotta interject something to Ann_C — please do not start to accuse the ones who supported Deafhood for blasting Daniel Greene. I’m very much certain that none of us would say that an interpreter represents my community.

    Yes, they played a part of our community but they do not represent us.

    So don’t bother to start on this, Ann_C. I know your kind.

    R-

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  12. I would not ask interpreters to represent the deaf community. Only deaf leaders and followers represent the deaf community. The interpreter’s job is to facilitate communication between two parties.

    That is an audistic behavior of having interpreters represent the deaf community.

    They do NOT!

    We need them in neutral standing and facilitate communications.

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  13. *smacking my forehead*

    Er, captioning wasn’t enough for this Deaf commenter, hey?

    I just wore my eyes out lipreading, watching your signing, and the captioning on THIS vlog.

    Captioning a YouTube vlog is sufficient. And that’s more than what most hearing people would ever do.

    You also have a right to be yourself when not in the deaf community, and that’s hearing and speaking and whatever else. I don’t care if you’re an ASL interpreter or not. You do enough double duty on hired time as it is.

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  14. I haven’t seen the video in question, but I think that it is great that you caption your videos at all. As you said, very few people do. Plus, I am guessing, it is probably easier for you to communicate with other hearing people using spoken English while not worrying about signing at the same time. That fact that you caption shows you are trying to make it accessible to deaf people. That should be good enough.

    PS: Edit your videos! You don’t need to do a single take! It will cause it to take a lot less time. Just redo the parts you made a mistake on!

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  15. I can’t believe about other people say to you… This video you made in the past is your own way and your free time you can be fool around!
    Don’t worry about others!!!

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