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ASL interpreters are bringing visuals to a hearing-centric musical world

ADA Sign Depot

April 14, 2017

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A growing number of ASL interpreters are bringing visuals to a hearing-centric musical world.

Amber Galloway Gallego is one of a growing number of American Sign Language interpreters who specialize in the performing arts. If you frequent music festivals and concerts, you might see her — or an interpreter like her — grooving to the music, mirroring the emotions and physicality of the artists onstage, interpreting their imaginative lyrics for concert-goers who rely on visual accommodations. She’s interpreted for more than 400 artists at this point, and has a special knack for interpreting hip-hop acts.

You might have seen this viral video floating around of her signing alongside Kendrick Lamar’s live performance at Lollapalooza. For the hearing audience, watching Amber is captivating and fascinating; for the deaf community, it’s vital.

In the video above, Amber breaks apart the challenges of interpreting a hearing-centric music world into a visual one and explains some clever ways she has visualized some rather complex lyrics.

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