DISCLAIMER *The views expressed here are those of Aidan Mack. They do not reflect the views of the interpreters engaged in interpreting her.*
(Visual Description of Episode) – Video opens with upbeat music and views of New York City, while Aidan Mack exercises with a jumprope.
The screen shifts to her turning down a road lined with green trees in a red motorcycle, while a red car passes by. Aidan Mack then appears in a fancy closet/fitting room wearing a black dress with black heels, while she spins around looking in the mirror. The screen then shows Aidan Mack sitting in a dressing room at a Hollywood-style vanity mirror, lined in a circle with bright light bulbs where the camera films her reflection in the mirror as she flips her hair and whips out her magenta, pink lipstick applying it to her lips with a grin into the mirror. Aidan Mack is then seen in the center of New York City, standing in the middle of Time Square where the camera circles her as she looks around with an astonished look in her eyes and face at the flashing lights and billboards surrounding her. The host, Aidan Mack then opens her show as she walks down Time Square’s glowing, ruby-red stairs while bystanders sitting behind her on the stairs watch her introduce her show in American Sign Language (ASL).
The screen shifts to The Aidan Mack Show logo (dark blue and black background with a cartoon figure of Aidan Mack in a black dress and heels holding up the ASL hand shape for ‘I Love You,’ standing next to three shopping bags (pink, blue, and yellow) lined up in size order with the website: www.aidanmack.com below.
Episode opens with Aidan Mack wearing a dress with grey, lime green, white, and black stripes on it. It’s matched with black stocking underneath and knee-high green leather boots. Her brown, short hair is worn down and she is wearing dark brown colored lip stick. She is sitting in front of a vintage, finished wood panels that creates a tarnished-bronze and brown looking wood background on a hot pink chair that is formed in the shape of a big hand. On the wood behind her, displays The Aidan Mack Show logo on Aidan’s right with 3 pictures of pink hearts as trees in pink grass to the side of the logo, each one with different background sky colors. Below the logo is a small black table against the wall that has a glass vase with pink, white, and red daisy flowers in it. In front of the flowers is a white sign that says, “You can do anything” and a white and pink striped coffee mug that says, ”Do what you *heart*” written on it in black
Hey everyone and welcome to The Aidan Mack Show!
I want to make this clear, my show is for both Deaf and non-Deaf people. Signers and non-signers. My show will benefit you the non-Deaf people watching this who don’t know sign. You’ll learn a lot and you’ll know what to do next time you meet Deaf people for the first time. So you can give a positive experience to Deaf people professionally, personally, and socially. It really varies in the number of fields you may encounter a Deaf person and you’ll know what to do because of this episode! This will be great exposure for you all!
So please, don’t assume when watching my show, “Oh she’s signing so that means this is only for Deaf people only.” Nope, this show is for both Deaf and non-Deaf people, that’s why my show has voice over. Got it?
Which leads me to talk about interpreter compliments…
(insert a picture of a conference, a meeting, a workshop, and a picture of an interpreter signing next to a presenter)
As you can see these different images showing conferences, meetings, workshops, shows, places where people gather and you see an interpreter standing in the front.
(insert a picture of two erasers placed on concrete standing next to a mushroom plant growing in between the two pieces of concrete, one is pink and one eraser is orange and both have a face drawn on them. Across from them is a blue eraser looking at them)
You might be inspired and go up to them and tell them, “Wow you’re here to get up and interpret. Wow you’re a savior. You’re helping the Deaf community. Wow you’re so good. Where did you learn sign language? Where can I learn sign language?”
(insert picture of 5 business men sitting in a row of chairs separated by one empty chair and a woman sitting on the last chair. All of the men are having a conversation and are all looking at the second man in awe while the woman seems to be looking over at them alone”)
And the many other questions you might want to ask when you see an interpreter.
But be careful. Imagine if you want to attend a meeting, conference, workshop, or a show you can literally look at your schedule and say, “Oh I can go to this conference. I can go to this workshop. I can go to this meeting.” Really, any last minute thing you want to attend you can. But you need to think twice about Deaf people.
(insert a white screen that reads “#HearingPrivilege” in black letters)
We don’t have that privilege like you guys do. Which means, if a Deaf person has to go to a meeting but doesn’t have an interpreter available, we’re told it’s our responsibility to book them in advanced. By the time I get one, the meeting is already over. Or there’s an expo that has tons of information about health and fitness Deaf people are ready to go and have fun but we can’t, we have to reserve an interpreter in advance. Oh great! There’s a fashion show and I called to see if a few of us could attend the show but no we couldn’t because we had to book an interpreter ahead of time.
Now we have to wait for it to come back again next year. That’s what Deaf people have to experience on a day to day basis. We constantly have to map out our lives ahead of time if we want to attend conferences, meetings, workshops, shows or whatever the event is. We have to plan it out ahead of time. And by planning it, it means we’re contacting coordinators letting them know we’re Deaf and we need an interpreter. Sometimes it is a battle because entities don’t want to pay for it. They think, “Deaf people aren’t our target audience. Our target audience are hearing people. Hearing people are fine but Deaf people are shoved aside because they don’t “have the budget for it.”
We have to go back and forth with people and remind them of the ADA law and they’re required to provide interpreters to ensure Deaf people have access to information. That’s when they start to realize, once they know they’re required by law. Then these coordinators have to reach out with different interpreting agencies, and sometimes agencies are not really doing it for Deaf people, they’re doing it for the money.
(insert picture of a business man and a business woman talking to a woman)
So a lot of the times they don’t care and they just send a warm body.
Imagine being frustrated at an all weekend conference because of an unqualified interpreter. The interpreters don’t understand the content of the conference, they don’t sign well, and they don’t understand sign language. When they’re interpreting into English they sound like they’re speaking broken English instead of interpreting accurately. Which results in us Deaf people looking bad, interpreters are what we use to make an impression to hearing people and sometimes they make us look bad. It’s something that we have to face from time to time. We try to make the best out of it and try to keep things moving along.
(insert picture of a bunch of blue stick figures holding hands in a circle while one orange stick figure stands outside the circle with it’s arms open and alone)
Sometimes people don’t even realize we’re quiet the entire time because of this. They don’t realize we’re stuck with an unqualified interpreter. Also, how do we even express that to them? That wouldn’t run smoothly. It may come off as sounding stupid or not important and then we lose an opportunity.
(insert blue screen that reads, “Media & Event, Accessibility for Deaf & HOH People” in white letters)
I want you all to think twice when you want to run towards an interpreter when you see one. You need to remember, we Deaf people are just like you non-Deaf people out there.
(insert picture of a group of people networking and smiling while meeting one another)
We want to seize potential opportunities.
(insert art of a small guy holding a balloon that says “idea” and a large money bag that has an, “$” on it next to him and is the same size as him being held by a person’s hand)
To meet potential sponsors, investors, business partners,
(insert picture of a bunch of business people smiling in a line)
or developing business relationships with different people and expanding our networks.
(insert screen that covers the whole screen which is a picture of a bunch of people all putting their hands in the center and on top of one another to show they are a team)
I work hard to be who I am. I want to show who I am to people.
(insert white screen that reads “Access to your success” with a box and pens and books coming out of it)
(insert another screen that is blue and reads in 3 white strips with black letters, “Check” “your” “privilege” )
So when a non-Deaf person runs up and talks to the interpreter, that robs my time. You’re taking away my opportunity to network. You could’ve asked me those questions and start a conversation. Like, wow this is awesome that we have an interpreter. We can form a relationship because you’re here for business and I’m here for business too. We could’ve formed a relationship but instead you ignored us and ran to the interpreter. The interpreter is there for a different purpose than we are, the interpreter is here to facilitate communication between Deaf people and non-Deaf people, thats it.
That’s their goal for attending, to make sure effective communication is taking place. And really, you’re gaining nothing talking to an interpreter who is not even there for what you’re there for. It’s a loss for me when you non-Deaf people run up and have a full blown conversation with the interpreter. It’s offensive. It’s not respectful by any means. You know, Deaf people are the best people to ask all those burning questions that you want to ask about ASL classes and interpreters. We can give you the full scoop, and you can learn a lot from us Deaf people. We have brains for you to pick! I notice you non-Deaf people running to have a full blown conversation with the interpreter. You don’t realize you’re taking time away from me having opportunities to recruit potential team players for my team. By talking to the interpreter, you’re robbing potential exposure, information, exchange of resources, advice, and the many other things that you non-Deaf people get when you go to these events. But here you all are running to have a one-on-one conversation with the interpreter, you forgot about me. It’s really disrespectful and then sometimes I have to chime in and introduce myself. Which for whatever reason throws hearing people off and makes them feel awkward. Then time pasts and things work out smoothly.
I want this episode to be shared to spread awareness. I want you to keep in this in mind, you have hearing privilege. Which means you have access to pretty much any and everything out there. You can literally roll out of bed and know you have access to everything. Im asking “Will we have access? Will there be captions? Will we have an interpreter? Will we have? Will we have?”We have to ask these questions to make sure we have access to information, communication, captions, and the list just goes on of the daily concerns we have.
So again please, be aware of your hearing privilege.
Thank you I appreciate your time!
I hope you benefit from this episode and learned something new! Have a great day everyone!
Thank you for watching my show!
Thanks Domenick and Casey for interpreting!
(The two interpreters appear signing, “Thank you, Bye!” (music fades)
(The Aidan Mack Show logo appears again. (dark blue and black background) with a cartoon figure of Aidan Mack in a black dress and heels holding up the ASL hand shape for ‘I Love You,’ standing next to three shopping bags (pink, blue, and yellow) lined up in size order with the website: www.aidanmack.com below.) A white screen with social media websites appears directly after.)
Make sure you like, share, comment, and subscribe to my show! Bye everyone!