Brendan Tibbs is a 28-year-old staff interpreter at Rochester Institute of Technology.
1.How did you become interested in sign language and the world of deaf people?
My first real exposure to Deaf culture wasn't until I was a freshman in college. I needed a foreign language credit and American Sign Language (ASL) seemed the most interesting to me. Unfortunately for me, the classes were quite popular and filled up so fast that I actually got lucky with joining a last-minute early morning session they had just added. I had no major declared at the time, but after my first few weeks of taking the class, I enjoyed learning ASL so much that I knew I wanted a career with it.
2. What kind of difficulties, if any, did you encounter while learning ASL?
Some difficulties while learning ASL, for me, were situations as simple as not knowing as much of the language that I wanted for effective communication. For many hours I would sit in the lab and try to understand anything that my professors would talk about on their lunch break. Another difficult aspect I encountered when learning ASL, and still do to this day, is realizing that progress can be slow, so it's important to stick with learning and improving, even if you may not notice any growth. Consistency is key.
3. Is it possible to learn a Sign Language online?
Sure, I think technology these days has allowed us to learn many different topics from the internet, including languages. Of course, I would recommend learning in-person more than online, especially for a language that depends on visual aspects so heavily. You also need to be careful about where you learn ASL from. There are many great sources that are amazing, but there are also many that teach the language very incorrectly.
4.How did you become an American Sign Language interpreter?
As I mentioned earlier, I stumbled into my first ASL class and loved learning the language. One day, my Deaf professor asked me "Do you want to be an interpreter?" I said " I guess, sure", not even really understanding what it was an interpreter did. I thought I must like it if I get to use ASL for my job. Interpreting was the only real option for me if I wanted to continue down the path I had started.
5. How would you describe your experience at Eastern Kentucky University?
Eastern Kentucky University was a great stepping stone for me to transition into adult life. Luckily, their interpreting program was rated very well and the professors were amazing people to learn from.
6. Do you engage in PC or tablet video interpretation?
Sometimes I will use my computer for an interpreting assignment, though its's not very often.
7. Which is your preferred field of work?
I prefer science and medical content.
8.Does this sole occupation earn you a living?
Yes, it does. Plus, Rochester, NY has a huge deaf population, so there are more opportunities here than many other places.
9. Do you ever have the chance to work along with deaf interpreters?
Yes, I have, though it's only been a handful of times.
10. Are there, in your opinion, common aspects in both deaf and LGBTQ communities?
I don't identify as part of either community, so take my opinion for what it's worth, but I would say both communities experience unfair prejudice for simply being who they are.
11. Has ASL evolved into Signed English in recent times?
All languages change and ASL is a language, therefore, it does change. It's hard to say whether or not it's shifting towards English vs ASL. Personally, I meet Deaf individuals who are experts at both.
12. What could your motto be?
Spread more positivity.
In questo articolo si parla di cultura, università, computer, asl, sordi, articolo, English, lingua dei segni italiana, Michele Peretti, American Sign Language, udenti, Deaf, espressioni, Hearing, Rochester, interpreter, lessons, credits, Signed English, professors
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