Saturday, April 16, 2011

Uh... Yea the Deaf kid...

OK, so Haddy wants to apply for Summer Intensive Theater Camp at VSAA. Great! Only one problem, 

This camp is for VSAA students who are focused in theater. Yep, Haddy is.... but he is deaf. The teachers are providing this privately. That means ADA doesn't apply. That means that in order for him to participate if he is accepted he needs theater interpreters. He needs volunteers, qualified with a background in theater,  folks who can handle Shakespeare. 

Our family can't afford to hire them, ASL students can't do this. 

So what does a mama do? Sorry kiddo you are too Deaf to join? I can come and try but I need a team or a partner for theater. I am feeling a bit sad. like maybe I am not doing this right. How do I tell my kid I can't figure this out?

Funny the picture for the flyer is of my Deaf kid. He is the commercial for camp and I know the teacher wants him there maybe. I don't know, I really don't. 

Blech! Sometimes I feel helpless....


  1. They have terp training for theater? The only license I know that deviates from normal every day interpretation is medical or legal.

  2. Nope.... The terps that can volunteer are second year general...

  3. Cast a few lines to places where they have theater of the deaf and interpreting Gally or NTID. They might have additional ideas or students eager to take practicum in such a situation.

    ADA might be limited, but I'd double-check to be sure...anything open to the public could be covered.

  4. Dianrez, thanks for pulling me from my pity pot!

    Yes, I will do that!

    I don't want the teacher to pay, she is amazing and can't afford the burden of a team of terps.

  5. What? They won't even provide captionist either? I don't think that place would be deaf friendly at all. But majority of places are like that, they won't provide caption or interpreters.

  6. This is a deaf friendly place..... the issue is how does my son get involved outside of school? The school is so helpful... but outside of school the kids still work... it is an arts school and the kids work beyond the normal hours of a school day

  7. What a dilemma! Wish I had some answers for you. Will try to think of something, if I can.

  8. Hey thanks Don, as soon as my coffee is ready I am going to take Dianrez's advice and see what happens.

    I am also going to send a plea out to the theater terps in town. I am thinking there are three formal shows a year (5-9 shows each plus rehearsal) and a deaf kid at the school. Maybe some folks want to get into the job loop at the school? I am told working for my son at the art events is really fun.....

  9. What is wrong with using ASL students? I have never heard of interpreters with qualification to interpret in a theater or concerts. Is there such a thing? What is wrong with asking for volunteer from ANY interpreters? If I were you, I'd go ahead and interpret. Your son should take advantage of this experience. Sounds like a keeper.

    Worst comes to worst, why not put cans out in stores asking people to donate for cost of interpreter so that your son will be able to participate. I have seen cans in my town that covers donation for a kid to get a seeing eye dog, for a kid to get some kind of equipment so he could participate in some activities. Just an idea, a last resort idea...


  10. Hey Candy,
    ASL students have been OK in the past for basic information. I usually step in and take over because they don't have the skills for fluent communication. Jodi knows the history of this.....

    This "camp" is offering Master classes.

    "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry". - (Act I, Scene III).

    A sample from the offerings. Yes, there are terps who work in theater. I just can't afford them. I have a kid who want's to do this. Maybe I should just tell him to give up and find another path....

    I hate to be such a snob but why can't my kid be on the same level? Should I just except that he will be always left behind even though he is ready to move forward?

  11. Maybe you can set up a fund for your child to get an interpreter if they are not under ADA.

  12. YES, there are interpreters who do NOTHING BUT THEATRE. There isn't a "certification" for it, but some of them ONLY do theatre.

    Just do a google search!



    Darn it....the link didn't show up in my previous post.


  14. Larry,
    Dear sir,
    Is it Ok that regardless you always put a smile on my face?

    Crazy helicopter mom

  15. Interesting, I learned something new today.

    No, don't tell him to give up, There has to be another way...

    say - how much does it cost to hire an interpreter for theater? maybe your readers can chip in?


  16. Candy,

    I am always learning something new. I have a kid who can't hear a thing. I hear everything.... profoundly.

    Everyday I wake up and guess at life... do my best....

    So not a soul at my house will give up... or maybe we will and go ride a roller coaster... sometimes we just need a break.

    Then we come back.

    My kid wants to go to this camp. I see his picture on the flyer... he wants to learn Shakespeare.... sometimes ... I just can't make it happen...

    The cost... around $4000... yea.. low end....

    Why I ask....Why can't my kid just fill out the paper.. other kids do that

  17. Mel asks: "Why can't my kid just fill out the paper...other kids do that."

    Hate to break the news to ya, but the paper those kids fill out don't have the box that says, "If you need accommodations, please check here, and let us know how we can best serve you."

    It's just the story of our deaf life. Eventually, it will change. It IS changing, about as slow as molasses grow. But you have to remember, YOU are making change.

    So it's all good!

    Peace Out!

  18. Have you talked to the school about it? All else fails guilt trip them with the photo of your son on the flier :)

    If they won't provide interpreters and ADA and his IEP definitely cannot help you, check with interpreter training programs like NTID, Gally, and anything local to see if there are upper level students in need of field experience hours. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and get someone with theatre background/experience or even a degree.

  19. GET A GRANT!!!!

    Yes, they have grants for things like this. You could totally and completely get one. You have to move fast, though. This is going to be such a cool experience for Haddy. He is on the POSTER! If you need help writing it or finding one, contact me.

    ASL students will not suffice for this, and even though his interpreters are great people, this is a full-time and after hours job (the prep work will be INSANE). They probably can't volunteer much, even if they wanted to.

    I think a grant is the way to go. Contact NAD, RID, DBC, LMNOP...


  20. Hi Mel and Haddy,
    Small world and our paths cross again!
    Definitely do not give up! Hang on to the dream and get inside of it and fly. It's WONDERFUL that Haddy wants to wrestle with Mr. Shakespeare. He's fun to figure out. Mr. Will, that is.
    I'm acting at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The only Deaf in a company of 100 plus hearing actors. Come on down and check us out.
    A couple ideas:
    Set up an online fund. I'll send money. I'm sure others will. Nickels and dimes online can add up pretty fast.

    This idea is not optimal but ask several good terps to volunteer a couple or more shifts. They do need to coordinate character name signs, theatre terms, etc so all are on the same page. They should read the script and be very familiar with the play and names. (That should go without saying...) It really is best that Mom doesn't terp for the Son. Too distracting but if all else fails, then so be it and Bless you.


  21. Hi,

    A previous post mentioned grants and I agree!

    I'm a theatre interpreter in Minneapolis and we have an affiliate chapter of VSA-The International Organization on Arts and Disability. Often when organizations want to hire an interpreter in our area, VSA is there to help them find qualified interpreters and the funding to pay for services. The Minnesota chapter has a program called Arts ADA Improvement Grants which helps organizations improve their accessibility and another called Access to Performing Arts which specifically helps with funding for ASL interpreters (and other access providers.)

    The website is Perhaps you have an affiliate chapter near you that could be of assistance in getting interpreters for your son.

    It sounds like an amazing experience for him--and the lucky interpreters that will work with him. Personally I LOVE Shakespeare and have a blast interpreting it. Break a leg!


  22. OK, gosh, just a mom who is grateful.

    I am trying to gather all of the info here in one place *well yea, Haddy is doing the tech copy and paste for me, he has more computer skills, *


    "Haddy! You can't help having a mom who is willing to be .... maybe wrong, or maybe... right... either way you are stuck with me "


    Remember I posted that there were terps who do ONLY theatre. We lost a true spotlight recently.