Organizer’s attitude toward deaf, interpreters defeats her

The blog post “How Trying to Provide Deaf Interpreters for a Camp Bit Me in the Ass” paints the conference organizer as the victim, but I’m afraid it was her attitude toward interpreters and the deaf that defeated her, and it is the interpreting profession and deaf consumers that stand to lose by her misrepresentation.

I would hate for the takeaway message from any blog post to be, “Don’t provide interpreters to the deaf if you can possibly avoid it.”

Edmund Berke once said, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Take a look at John Pozadzides’ 2009 blog post “An Open-Source Look at the Cost of WordCamp Dallas” and the comments that ensue when someone suggests “If you cut out the T-shirts and interpreters, you would break even.” You will learn a lot about complying with the ADA and providing accessibility to a public event.

I hope these two bits of history will help people make future events better for all.

Edited January 22, 2011 for clarity.

4 responses to “Organizer’s attitude toward deaf, interpreters defeats her”

  1. Note: I made this comment at Amanda’s blog few minutes ago…



    My friend told me to check your blog regarding WordCamp and Interpreter. I don’t know the whole story, but I want to share my experience with WordCamp Dallas in 2009 at my website. Generally, it was a positive experience for me and other deaf attendees.

    Now, if you click this blog called Open Source at the Cost of WordCamp Dallas: It cost us 1,600 dollars overall for 3 days.

    Yes, I can image it was stressful to keep the cost down in every possible way. I tried to find volunteer interpreters, and no one offered. (yes, it sucks but what can I do) I kept looking and found the best deals (without going through agency) I can find and told an event coordinator. They worked it out just fine. Yes, both interpreters are certified, and we are happy with them. They are so clueless with all technical but its okay.

    I hope things will work out for you, WordCamp Phoenix, interpreters and especially deaf attendees.


    Grant Laird Jr.


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