Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I spent 5 years in College and University to become a Professional Interpreter, which I have my "degree" in, and let me tell you, it is a tough gig to get into. I lived with the Deaf Community while I was going to school, and there is alot more to learning to be an Inerpreter, than just learning to sign ASL.
I tried to interpret for a deaf rider, during a lesson and it was tough. You have to have the intire attention of the deaf rider, to beable to translate what the Coach is wanting - through facial expression, body language and sign.
The rider had to stop continuoulsy to focus on my translation, for her to beable to achieve what was being asked of her and her horse. But she was also able to feel how it was supposed to be as opposed to what it wasn't supposed to be. She learnt quicker than a hearing person due to her natural ability to feel and pick up on her horses movements quickly.
She became quite a good Dressage Rider. The Judge was given a red flag to use for her classes, and instead of blowing a whistle to signify it was time for her to enter the arena, or instead of blowing a whistle if she went off course - she just waved the flag for her.
On that note, I do not know many Deaf Riders. Perhaps those who were already into horses and became deaf later on in life, but there are not many facilities who offer aid to the Deaf to learn how to ride - aside from Therapeutic Riding Centers.
Majority of those in the Deaf Community will have their picks of Interpreters already, so if they were to learn to ride, and went to any chosen facility, they would bring their own Interpreter along with them, or the Interpreter would meet them at the facility apon arrival.
I'm now getting into Nursing, starting as a CNA and then moving upwards from there, I'll beable to use my sign within the hospitals. ASL is a great tool to have in your belt, I encourage anyone to learn it.