doing something different with language
DEAF EYE on EMERGENCY! on Prezi
The subtitling process is not yet supported by Prezi, so transcripts (in sequence) of the ASL video portions are pasted in as comments, below.
Are you ready? It’s important.
Have you seen the FEMA and TDI videos? Well, I watched them . . . and felt dismayed.
Before reacting, let’s talk honestly.
FEMA wants to know if their communication equipment works: can they transmit to
everyone in America, reaching the entire country all at the same time? Can everybody
receive the warning signal and realize, “There’s a crisis!”
FEMA knows the technology will fail. Okay – where’s the backup? I believe they
can identify exactly where equipment will fail, specific stations and tv channels. They
already know these. Why haven’t they arranged for interpreters to be available for this
announcement? If they really want to achieve broad reach for the warning, why are they
instead alerting you in advance not to worry? It makes no sense.
I propose a challenge among Gallaudet University and the DC area, the National
Technical Institute for the Deaf and the community in New York at Rochester, and
California State University at Northridge.
Three different Deaf communities pitted against each other to see which campus
community is most involved with the warning system.
When an alert happens, did you find out? Where? When? Was the information clear? Did
you know what you should do? What information were you given about what not to do?
Was the warning effective?
From this we can compare who has the most accessible system. Does that system involve
using interpreters or does it rely on captioning only? We might even be able to compare heavily populated urban areas with systems in rural
areas with fewer deaf people.
It is important that we use a special hashtag, ##demx_
D = Deaf
EM = Emergency
X = the uncertain variable of which kind of crisis
A national test is an odd situation. We are pre-warned: we know in advance when the test
will occur. But in real life, emergencies arrive suddenly. Surprise! You didn’t know! Are
you ready in advance? If you haven’t prepared, do you think that now you’ll have time
to think about water, food, other things that you need? How will you communicate if the
power is out? If you don’t have a plan yet, this is an opportunity to get prepared.
“EMERGENCY” – what does it mean? Suddenly there is a crisis. It is awful, completely
disruptive. The surprise catches you instantly. You do not have time to get ready.
Emergency people are awkward with interpreters. They are not sure how to communicate
with Deaf people. We need evidence. The national test provides a beautiful chance to
compare, which is best for emergency alert announcements, captioning or interpreting.
This is a kind of challenge to find out and let FEMA know. Some people in the hearing
world are really paying attention.
Suppose you’re busy doing whatever you do. You are aware of the time, the test should
have happened, but you have not received any alert. This means the test has failed. The
emergency management people need to know if it failed. FEMA needs to know, too, if
you successfully received the alert. Both kinds of information are important. FEMA has
designed the test for their equipment, but I’m talking about testing the people…. First
Responders, Emergency Managers, Incident Commanders, and others who have the
responsibility to imagine, creatively, how to communicate with the Deaf.
Q1: Which community will be champ?
It could be DC because Gallaudet has been there for a long time.
Maybe NTID will be better. They are skillful with technology, maybe their relationship
with local government officials is better.
Or CA, because they are so cool. The hippies have a long tradition with movements for
empowerment and collaborating with people who are different.
I cannot predict which community will be best. Perhaps we will be surprised. Maybe some small rural community will demonstrate they have the best warning system. Then we can ask, did their system include interpreters or only use captioning and text? We have to find out. This is a great chance.
I am proposing this challenge because when this test happens, many hearing people will
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