Since September I've been captioning That Keith Wann Show live every Wednesday night at 8:00 EST, but this week I'm passing the captioning job to my excellent colleague Cory for the night, because I'm actually going to be on the show as a guest, and there's no way I'm going to be able to talk and write steno at the same time. For those of you who don't know Keith Wann, he's a legend in the ASL community. Both his parents are Deaf, so he grew up speaking ASL as a first language, and subsequently became not only a master interpreter, but a masterful ASL comedian. When he started his radio show, he asked me to caption it for him, and even though I had to drop my ASL class * (since the show was scheduled smack dab in the middle of it), I gleefully leapt at the chance. It's been a blast, and I've gotten the chance not only to give live access to the Deaf people in the audience -- many of whom then revisit it in another medium when the ASL version is uploaded -- but I also get to give access to people with hearing loss whose primary language isn't ASL, who often want to connect with members of the Deaf community both for personal reasons and to help bolster self-advocacy efforts, but who are prevented from building those alliances by the language barrier. I'm really interested in those conversations, both between Deaf people and HoH/deafened people and between CART providers and ASL interpreters. We work towards many of the same goals, but it's relatively rare that we actually get a chance to sit down and talk together, so I can't wait to see how the conversation goes between Keith and me tomorrow, and I'm hoping that some Deaf/HoH/deafened audience members will call in or write questions and comments in the chat room as well. Tune in tomorrow and see how it goes!
* There's a happy ending, though: I'm starting up ASL lessons again in two weeks on Tuesday mornings, so Keith can stop feeling guilty about depriving me of my education.