Be sure to check out Life Stories Volume 2
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Life Stories, Vol. 1
Deaf people in America are part of a rich & vibrant community. Outsiders are rarely afforded the opportunity to see more deeply into the community & understand its complexities. The vast majority of ASL/Deaf Culture videos tend to focus on superficial information, such as family background, educational experiences, and the like, as well as camping, fishing & snowmobiling stories, which again don't allow the viewer a more thorough understanding of the community and its people.
This is especially troublesome for interpreters, who lack necessary language resources to work in serious & complex situations. How can these practitioners be expected to interpret effectively in situations for which they've never seen any language modeled?
Enter Life Stories.
Each DVD features a different guest talking about their life. The first several chapters contain basic autobiographical information: family background, educational experiences & stories about growing up deaf. Later chapters may even include the ubiquitous camping, fishing & snowmobiling stories.
The final two chapters, however, differentiate this series. The second-to-last chapter on each DVD features the guest talking about their experiences with interpreters-good, bad & ugly. This provides an opportunity to see Deaf people talking about interpreters in their own words, which I'm hopeful will lead to better working relationships. No interpreters are ever named as the point is education rather than personal critique.
In the last chapter, each guest will open up and reveal more intimate details of their life. Examples of what you can expect in the final chapters include: a man recounting the birth of his son & the situations leading up to that; a young man coming to terms with his sexual identity as a gay person, accepting himself and coming out; a young woman discovering she has cancer with only a year or two to live & the emotions of going through the dying process; and a young man describing his experiences in jail (other topics forthcoming). These stories are sensitive in nature. While not unnecessarily explicit nor graphic, they are intended for a more mature viewing audience. Viewer discretion is advised.
This series is designed to model language & show the ways in which Deaf people talk about important & serious situations. When they are expected to work in those situations, interpreters will finally have language resources on which to draw. This will not only help the deaf and hearing consumers in their communication exchange, but also the interpreter as well by providing a more intimate look at the American Deaf Community.
In this volume, Larry Jannett, a Minnesotan from a multi-generational Deaf family, recounts various experiences from his mischievous childhood and growing up, complete with camping, fishing & snowmobiling stories. In the final chapter he details events surrounding the birth of his son, Reno. I think you will find it interesting and hope you enjoy.
Streaming video trailer