We are SO excited to be offering American Sign Language interpreters for IF:Gathering 2019! This allows a big part of the global community to have access to our time together. Here are a few ways that you can make women from the deaf community feel welcome at your IF:Local!
1. Offer an interpreter if you can at the event itself to interpret with things like announcements, etc. If you can’t, at least have a few volunteers who can help communicate those local messages to them.
2. If you want to talk with a woman who is deaf, go for it! Just consider writing things down or even texting her instead of speaking.
3. Our deaf sisters are just like we are, and so we encourage you to ask about their lives and passions. Stay away from just asking questions about being deaf or drawing attention to it.
4. Be sure that our ASL graphics and videos get into their hands–seeing that logo means a lot to these women! It means they are welcome and it can be a big bridge-builder. Also, our IF:Equip videos (going back to the ‘I Am’ study) are captioned for them!
5. Make sure there are clear signs for things like bathrooms or directions.
6. Please make sure that they have a line of sight to the stage–ideally toward the front so they can see the interpreters but also the person who may be making announcements, etc. Also be sure to have other women sit with them so they are not isolated there!
6. Pray for grace! We’re going to be interpreting, but things can still sometimes get a little lost in translation on the IF:Local level, so be sure to just love well and laugh at yourself if you need to–at the end of the day, it’s about who Jesus is and how He brings us all together!
Want more tips? Help locating an interpreter for your event? Connect with Sonshine Interpreting.