In the midst of conference season, two of LTC’s full-time American Sign Language staff interpreters, Kelsey DeLonis and Angie Carroll, had the exciting opportunity to interpret for a group of women at a direct sales conference. The conference took place in Nashville- also known as the “City of Music”- so the conference was musically themed. Music played between each of the events, local musicians were featured before each presentation, and many of the speakers connected their speaking topics to the conference theme. For our interpreters, this presented an interesting challenge.
Since the theme was revolved around music, our interpreters had some obstacles to face.
“The speakers talked about what it was like to listen to music, and our Deaf clients couldn’t connect,” said DeLonis. “It was a struggle to interpret a concept they had never experienced.”
However, the interpreters found ways to still connect their clients to the musical atmosphere. On both evenings of the conference, a concert was held for the attendees at the Grand Ole Opry. While not every client attended, a few chose to.
“The Deaf attendees just wanted to watch the musician, feel the beat of the music, or just be there for a little while,” said DeLonis. How does one interpret music into sign language? Well, it’s all about the beat. “To be a good musical interpreter, you have to have rhythm!”
Through interpreting the lyrics, demonstrating the beat, and pointing out an exceptional guitar solo, the interpreters were able to engage the select attendees. For the most part, what the clients wanted wasn’t just to experience the show; they also wanted to connect. In fact, the clients often opted out of having the music surrounding them interpreted in lieu of a casual conversation with the interpreters.
“What they really wanted was to talk and connect with people who could carry a common conversation. LTC’s mission is transforming lives by creating connections. We realized that this conference was a perfect opportunity for us as interpreters to engage with the Deaf culture and make them feel included and involved,” said DeLonis.
LTC has been providing interpreting services for 23 years in American Sign Language as well as foreign language. Moments like the ones DeLonis experienced are a confirmation that LTC is living out its mission through our services we provide!
-Casey Buchanan, Assistant Marketing Coordinator