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Behind the Scenes: How RID VIEWS Promotes Language Equality

Behind the Scenes: How RID VIEWS Promotes Language Equality

This article was published in the RID VIEWS August 2020 publication

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to create a publication in both English and ASL? 

Spoiler: it isn’t easy. VIEWS discovered that the process was slow-moving when the publication went bilingual in 2015. In an interview with former communications manager Julia Wardle, we learned the story of how the RID came up with the best method to provide feedback in ASL—something that hadn’t really been done before.

VIEWS first went bilingual after a member motion was made at a conference in 2015. But the motion was made without realizing just how much work would be required.

People weren’t used to publishing in ASL, and it was rare for a publication to require submissions in both languages. Many authors would submit an article in English and then do a translation into ASL. After receiving feedback on the English copy, they would submit a signed video to receive feedback on sign choice and concepts. 

But the editors at VIEWS prefer authors to submit two pieces that are equivalent messages in English and an ASL. According to Wardle, “The standard should be the same for ASL and English submissions, especially for people who want to submit ASL as the primary language.” And being able to see the ASL version from the beginning is invaluable for giving feedback. The staff needed a new method. 

The board was on a quest to provide feedback and create equal standards between the two languages. Because several members of the board editors are also instructors in ITPs, they were familiar with GoReact—an interactive platform for feedback, grading, and critiquing of video assignments. GoReact would allow editors to submit feedback in ASL and leave time-coded comments in the footage. It was the perfect solution.

GoReact transformed the way editors give feedback. Wardle explained, “GoReact allows you to track changes and give feedback as you would on a word document, but on video.” The board of editors was able to create a standardized review of ASL content and turn their attention to providing better feedback. 

Wardle explained that the precedent of having a standardized review of ASL content allows the profession to think about their work (especially frozen text) and how their videos are being disseminated. 

With the new process in place, editors were able to give some general feedback about the content and structure on English submissions, then focus on providing detailed, time-stamped feedback on ASL submissions. 

GoReact has transformed the way editors give feedback. @RID_Inc Click To Tweet

Because the setup of GoReact is user-friendly, submissions can easily be shared with other editors. Editors build off each others’ rationales and work together to ensure the submissions are as accurate and equitable to the Deaf community as possible. According to Wardle, “If one editor is able to identify a problem, another editor can come in and give a little more backup and add potential solutions. That’s really helpful.”

The VIEWS staff works tirelessly to distribute publications to more than 14,000 inboxes every quarter, something that felt unachievable a couple of years ago. Looking forward, the RID hopes to become more bilingual in other aspects. We commend VIEWS for the ways in which the publication works to facilitate language equality and bridge the gap between interpreters and clients. 

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