Inspired by 40 years of advocacy for language justice by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the Canadian Language Advocacy Day (#LAD21), the Global Coalition for Language Rights is coordinating a world day of action on February 22, 2022.
#GLAD22 or Global Language Advocacy Day 2022 is a worldwide event coordinated by GCLR and designed to inspire a change of attitudes, behaviors and beliefs around language rights and linguistic justice.
Removing barriers changes lives. That is the core message of Amber Galloway’s short video exploration of the movement to provide more meaningful language access to one of the largest language groups in the US, those who use American Sign Language.
Through in-person interviews with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people across generations, Amber paints a vivid picture of the experience of a group more often recognized for their physical condition than their unique language and culture. She highlights the movement to open greater access to communication beyond the bare minimum of emergency room visits and court hearings, and into the world of entertainment and music concerts.
What does true communication access look like? In education? In entertainment? Amber helps us find the answers to these questions and explains how to be proactive about communication access. She gives tips for helping decision-makers with questions about budgeting for access and getting the most from a commitment to provide interpreters for public events.
Pulling from her experience as one of the foremost music sign language interpreters in the world, Amber shows us how hands can bring music to life and how music interpretations can demonstrate the emotional bonds which have driven music lovers to concerts for years. We get a glimpse at what being proactive about access looks like as she shares clips from successful concerts in Romania and Ukraine and talks about the expanding role of Deaf interpreters who can perform the music they love for appreciative audiences.Watch the Video
Have you ever tried learning a new subject in a language you don’t understand? This is the experience for many children in the US for whom English is not their native language. For speakers of marginalize languages, the situation is even worse. Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of school in the United States, with English learners dropping out at three times the rate of native speakers. The biggest contributor to the challenge of these students is lack of effective language access: student access to their education and parent access to their children’s education through teachers, support staff, and critical information. Deaf students and parents who use American Sign Language face the same challenge and rely on the same solution. In this discussion hosted by Ludmila Golovine with special guest, Natalia Abarca, we explore what has been working and where more is still needed to provide effective access to education for one of our most vulnerable populations with the most to gain – children.
When specially trained educational interpreters are accessible and used effectively, barriers come down and outcomes improve dramatically. Orange County School District, California, is one US district taking language access seriously. Their programs became even more critical as the global pandemic threw schools into disarray. Many lessons have been learned and dropout rates are falling, but there is still much that can be done, including a focus on indigenous languages and the move to professionalize educational interpreters.
When Amber Galloway, MasterWord’s Associate Director of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing services, is not championing communication access, she is busy teaching future interpreters, directing her own music interpreting agency, and interpreting concerts and music festivals into American Sign Language. She is frequently praised for her ability to passionately convey the connection between lyrics and sounds and, more importantly, Deaf audience members have often said they are able to connect to musical performances more than they ever had in the past. As Amber has become one of the “most recognized sign language interpreters” in the world, according to Vibe magazine, she is ever conscious of using her status to actively promote access and equality in the Deaf community.
Amber holds the national RID CT&CI, NIC, Texas BEI Level V, Oral Certified: Comprehensive interpreting certifications, and has over 20 years of interpreting experience and more than 10 years as an interpreter educator.
Check out Amber’s 2018 TED Talk, Music with a message should be accessible
Ludmila Golovine, Founder & CEO of MasterWord, has dedicated over 30 years to the language services industry and 15 years to her role as an international speaker advocating for language rights and social justice. She is the Strategic Partnerships Manager for the Global Community Programs of Women in Localization, a founding member of the Global Coalition of Language Rights, member of TBAT (Texas Business Against Human Trafficking), active participant in the UN Global Compact Initiative, and chairs the Advisory Subcommittee for the Translation and Interpretation Program at the Houston Community College. Her work has been recognized by numerous awards, including California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) Trainer of the Year Award 2021, Houston Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award, and Congressional Recognition G7 “Excellence in International Service” award.
Natalia Abarca manages the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Multilingual Consortium, a professional network established to support high-quality translation and interpreting services in schools. Natalia holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Coastal management.
Passionate about language access, she became a medical interpreter and a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter International training program. She facilitates the implementation of networks and leadership development. Natalia hosts the annual OCDE Interpreters and Translators Conference in Education. A founding member of the American Association for Interpreters and Translators in Education (AAITE), she serves on the board as Committee Coordinator. She is also a member of ATA’s Interpreters Division blog team and a past leadership council member.
Dr. Renae Bryant serves as the Director of Plurilingual Services at Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) in Anaheim, California where she leads the efforts to increase student access, opportunity, equity and success through the Plurilingual, World Languages and 2019 CSBA Golden Bell Award winning Spanish and Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs. Previously at Westminster School District, Renae led a team to implement the first Vietnamese DLI program in California, which was awarded the California School Board Associations Golden Bell in 2017 and at AUHSD the first secondary Vietnamese DLI program in the United States. She is the founder and facilitator of the Leadership Book Chat and leads national book studies most every Monday night featuring expert speakers leading the learning on such books as: Leading While Female, How to Be An Antiracist, The New Jim Crow, Ready For Anything, How Women Rise, Beyond Conversations About Race, The Unfinished Leader, Evolving Learner and She Leads. She earned her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne in 2017 and completed ACSA Superintendents Academy, AASA/USC Urban Superintendents Academy, the AASA Aspiring Female Superintendents Academy, and is currently enrolled in the Stanford EdLEADers Program.