Effective communication strategies

My life at work today consists of two distinct groups of time… CI time and no CI time, both sets of time include my HA being on. Why might you ask, do you take your CI off at work? You work with all hearing people, a hearing coworker, hearing clients… why is your CI coming off when you need to listen the most? Trust me, I have a very good answer to this…

this lovely piece of machinery is joyfully tearing up the asphalt behind my office. Now with my Hearing aid I occasionally, if I stand right by the door to the back, hear a very quiet rumble, although I can feel it much more than I can hear it. (there is no measurable hearing in that ear). But with the CI, no matter where I am in the shop, it is LOUD… it interferes with my hearing, with my comprehension… and becomes all I can hear… not only that… but with the 100+ db noise it and its 3 Jackhammer friends are putting out… I get a headache. This has lead me to think about my work situation a bit… my new co-worker has never known me as Deaf Ash without a CI, he knows to look at me, but he also knows I can understand some of what is said… he knows he can get my attention just by saying something, he knows I can hear the phone ring… and with the help of my occasionally correct captioned phone, I can also answer it. The inconsistency of today is proving to be difficult for both him and I.

I am finding myself having my CI off every 20 minutes or so… as soon as I hear the sound, or begin to feel the vibrations that mean the sound is inevitable, the CI comes off my head, and I enter a beautiful world of complete silence… with more communication difficulties than has become my norm.

With that, I’ve started to think about how communication can be eased between us right now, and what, in reality, should be good practice all the time so we can ensure good communication. These tips may be helpful for someone else, which is why I have decided to codify (write them down).  I am thinking of calling them something catchy… but the only thing that is coming to mind is that Deaf Girl’s Law… which is in no way catchy.

Effective Communication Strategies:

1. Make sure you have the person’s attention before you begin to speak.

  • To do this, tap the person on the shoulder lightly
  • If you are trying to get everyone’s attention, you may flash the lights
  • NEVER throw something at the person to get their attention

from Matt Daigles that Deaf Guy

2. Speak in a normal tone of voice, at a normal speed.

  • do not think that just because your voice is raised, the d/Deaf/HoH person can understand what you are saying better, normally it is harder.
  • Do not think that if you talk slowly we will understand better… by doing that you are changing how your lips move, and making it harder to understand.

3. When you are talking, be sure to keep looking at the dhh person without fidgeting or covering your mouth.

  • This will make it easier for them to continue to understand, when you look away our source of information disappears.
  • When you fidget, it is distracting, think of trying to read a book while someone giggles it, wiggles it and twists…
  • Covering your mouth does just the same as turning away… If I can’t see your lips when you are talking, I will have no idea what you are saying.

4. Stand with approximately 4 feet in between the two of you

  • Standing too close or too far away can make comprehension difficult

5. Do not get frustrated when the word “What” creeps in, it is bound to happen…

  • This word is going to come up, Maybe we misunderstood, maybe the words looked like gobbydygook… maybe we blinked and missed something, but the word is bound to come up. Keep calm, proceed to step 6 and 7.

6. When asked what, do not simply say the same thing again, restate it, choose different words, because maybe then we will understand.

  • Certain words look the same, certain words are just difficult to understand. Being given the same word over and over doesn’t necessarily enhance our comprehension, but it is the definition of insanity. Giving us a second word, with the same or similar meaning can aid us in grasping what is said.

7. Write things down that are complicated, or if we don’t understand

  • Contrary to popular belief, not all deaf people are stupid… we can write, we are not all illiterate. Just like in hearing worlds, in different states, countries, some of us may not be able to write or read… but this is not due to our deafness, this is more likely due to inadequate teaching as children, or inadequate access to language. Do not assume all deaf people can’t write, just as I won’t assume all hearing people can’t (even though my experiences have been hearing people less likely to try and write than a deaf person)

8. Be patient

  • Lip-reading is hard, it takes time, we can’t grasp everything that is said. Be patient with us, frustration is going to happen on both ends of the conversation, but getting frustrated will not help us meet our communication goals.

9. Understand lip-reading is exhausting and takes a lot out of us, the more tired we become, the less we will understand.

  • Try to limit the communication time. Break it up into blocks of time if necessary. The longer we lip read, the more mistakes we will make.
  • Giving breaks can allow us to think about what was said, and make notes if we need to.

10. Speak clearly.

  • Mumbling is one of our worst nightmares.

lipreading Nightmares. From Matt Daigle

11. Understand accents are harder, it takes more time for us to get use to the way you speak, so our comprehension will be lower to start with.

  • Be patient and if needed, use a pen and paper or a computer to communicate. This will ease frustration for both of us.

12. Lip-reading is not an exact science.

  • Only 30%-40% of the English language is able to be understood from the lips themselves, a really good lip reader, knowing the conversation topics can do better than that, but lip reading is not a science, and too many things can interfere with comprehension.

13. If the person uses a HA or CI, be cautious of background noise.

  • Background noise overpowers everything else. We don’t have the ability to “tune” out specific noises like a fan, or the conversation of others (or… a jackhammer). Our comprehension can go up if we have a quiet environment.

14. Do not assume that if we don’t understand we are less intelligent.

15. NEVER use the words “never mind”

  • This will be explained more in depth in the next blog… but the phrase never mind… it huts.

 

 

So those are some of my tips… any you care to suggest? Although my personal favorite wasn’t mentioned, because this was more about my life at work… but still, if the deaf person signs, learn sign language!!!!

Why the focus on speech?

When you talk to a new parent… they are looking forward to the many firsts the child has. Their first night sleeping all night, the first steps,  the first smile that isn’t because of gas, the first time they laugh,  and their first words… when hearing parents find out their children are deaf, they mourn the “loss” of the “normal” child they would have had… instead of celebrating the child they do have. Why?

 

Partially, I think it is because they had all these expectations for their child. When asked what they want most, many soon to be parents say a healthy child… why is deafness not seen as still being healthy? This is the medical communities fault, the audist perspectives many people have, even without realizing it.

 

Watch the words that are used… common words… but think about their connotations, the meanings behind them, and what they tell parents.

When a child is diagnosed as having a hearing loss, it is a scary time for parents. They are told their child will need speech therapy, there child has been diagnosed with something. Parents are told “I’m sorry” as if their new born child has something wrong with them. Those words, especially at a doctors office, are generally used for very bad, life threatening diseases.

 

These words have negative impacts on the child as well as the parent… the parents sense of joy at seeing their child for the first time is overwhelmed by this scary thing the doctors have said. Their child may never talk, they will never hear music, they will be left out. There is too much focus on what the child can’t do, rather than what they CAN do.

 

The following video can explain it better than I can…

 

There is so much negativity in our world, new parents shouldn’t have to feel this. They should be allowed to be happy they have just brought, or adopted, a new child into this world, into their family. The child may be deaf, or hard of hearing, but that doesn’t mean the child shouldn’t have EVERY opportunity to succeed… and with this, sign language, despite other options, such as hearing aids or Cochlear Implants is ESSENTIAL for the growth of a deaf child. Speaking when you can’t hear the words properly is frustrating… and yet, so many parents choose the oral only rout for their child? Why? The medical community is telling them this is the best option, if they want their child to be “normal”.  There are many other examples… but speech is just a modality of language, and too much time is spent focusing on speech when language development is not truly equivalent to speech development.

This video explains some of it…

 

Don’t get me wrong, am I happy I can speak, yes. It has helped me, especially when I didn’t know ASL, I could get my feelings out in some ways… but writing has always been easier for me. Why? Because I could see the language, I didn’t have to think about it as much, I didn’t have to think about how the words were pronounced, but I could just let it all out. Writing has always been my way into the world around me, I would write poetry, music, letters, sometimes I would just rip them up… but I could still get it out. But spoken language ISN’T a language, it is a modality of a language.

 

Children younger than 10, 5, 3, even 1 are being put into speech therapy, into AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapy) not to improve their LANGUAGE, but their SPEECH. There are “toys” out there to help a child learn where they went wrong in speaking, but this doesn’t equal having language.

why is this the image so many people want to see

rather than…

 

or this?

why is this what we focus on

rather than this?

because parents want their child to be normal… and to be normal, is the same thing as being hearing… and that is just a sad, sad thought. That this is considered more normal

than

Is it so important to hear your child speak rather than see their thoughts? Is it so important to hear your child tell you I love you mommy/daddy, rather than see them sign it? I think we should focus on language before it is too late, rather than words.

almost forgot about those darn gerbils… not

Many months ago, I saw a short film in BSL (British Sign Language), and recent events have brought the film back into my mind. It is a sobering story, with many lines that break my heart… with a tale that breaks my heart… and a future I hope never comes to fruition. The film is called “The End”, and it starts in 1987, at a school for the Deaf, it ends in the future, with the simple, yet heart wrenching line “I am Deaf”… I will let you watch it on your own.

BSL Zone, The End

What made me think of it? Was it seeing so many people with CI’s and becoming one of them? No. Was it imagining a future without deafness? No… it was something that also came out of the UK… it was a story about gerbils… I know… seems kind of weird.

Gerbils… 

Now that hopefully you have gotten a chance, to both watch the one film and read the article… let me give you my two cents.

this tech, although could be useful in so many ways… it scares me. I don’t want my wonderful, beautiful, amazing Deaf culture to go away, and that is what it looks like their aim is, to stop there from being any more deaf people. Why? That is the question I am asking myself, why? Is it because we are dangerous? No… I’m thinking its because we are different. Different from the majority, different from their idea of perfect. Through out history, we have been seen as less, we have been seen as wrong… people have forced us to learn to talk, learn to lipread, learn to accomodate them, rather than them helping us become the best we can be within our selves. This is what scares me.

We are already a world that cares more about beauty than what is inside, we do not value intellect any longer, this is especially prevalent in our television shows and our lack of funding for education here in the United States. We are a culture that on the outside appears to value the individual, but in reality it values sameness… anyone who is a little different, who views things differently than the majority, is squashed. We have already seen this happen to the Deaf Community, although we do seem to have a knack for living on, thriving during the impossible… but if this is whole heartily squashed out of us in infancy, so that we do not even have a chance to come to understand our roots, our identities, how will we know where we are truly destined to go? If we aren’t given the chance to self actualize, what will become of our world.

One of the quotes from the video, that terrifies me, because it is already something that is being told to us, already something that is being ingrained into our heads, from a very young age… “We aren’t forcing the treatment onto anyone, but if they want to have a BETTER life, they will take the treatment.” substitute treatment for CI, and this is what you get, a world were so many deaf children are having their heads cut open, and a device implanted inside of them. (Now I want you to remember I am NOT against CI’s, I have one and plan on getting the other one done soon)… but these children are not given the opportunity to learn ASL, or the language of their country. They are given a limited restoration of their hearing, a mechanical device that is not the same… and told they are “fixed”… when there was nothing wrong with them in the beginning.

If we start trying to fix differences within ourselves, it won’t be long until we are all just the same…

It isn’t only my beautiful culture possibly ceasing to exist sometime in the future, it is that if they can regrow hairs in my head that are long dead, what can they do with other things? Will they create factories where everyone has body parts growing? and life extends forever? Will our world become so grossly overpopulated, (it is already over populated), that we are forced to find refuge across the stars, finding other planets to desiccate, leaving nothing but a wasteland behind us?

What will happen then? I know the gerbils aren’t the only thing leading us to this desiccation, but if we try and remove the difference between people, does that make the medical professionals we trust any better than someone so set on eugenics? In my opinion no. I think this is a form of eugenics, it is destroying a beautiful population, my population… and I don’t need your cure.

2 Month Update

So yesterday I had my 2 month MAPping, and I have some updates!!

update number one, I had many electrodes, once set properly, that were out of “voltage compliance”. They did something, that I’m not quite sure what it was, but I think it was something like upping the number of pulses per second, but I’m not 100% sure.

number 2, I have some weird issues with facial stim, so things aren’t quite where they are suppose to be, hopefully once I get done with my almost ear infection my primary care is trying to straighten out, the facial stim will go away.

Number 3, I also have some weird other issues with my CI, my impedance (or at least that is what it looks like) levels are a bit high, but that could be the almost ear infection as well. It was so… high, two of the electrodes (1 and 2) when they were doing the auto NRT (objective test for where audio levels should be) wouldn’t even recognize, even though I could clearly hear the stim.

Number 4, I had amazing tests done!!! (my response is between 15 and 30 db depending on the frequency). We also did sentence tests and word tests… and although the tests took forever, i got many more than I thought I would right. My word score (the harder one, due to not having context) was at 40%!!!!! This is a major improvement from 0% with 0% hope of getting anything pre-surgery and even from the 80% on the cards I had at 2 weeks. With the cards, I knew what words would be said, and there were only 12 of them… but the 40% is a HUGE improvement, especially for 2 months.

Number 5!! I have surgery scheduled (although we are still waiting for insurance to approve) for December 12, 2012 for my left side… its going so well that I can’t wait to have the second one too. The CI is helping at work, I can tell when someone is talking to me, and occasionally I can understand some of the words. It is also helping at home, when my sweet love doesn’t know how to sign something, she will say it, and normally I can get it.

It also has been helping quite a bit with my mom being here, I can understand some of what she says, and this is especially helpful because mom doesn’t really sign, she tries, but she can sign a few things and get a small point across, but her language is still very much English. so with the CI, it is really helping. I’m lipreading much better now, I could lipread well before, but it is much easier now… because there is actual sound.

Well here are some pictures from my moms visit, she is still here, but my time with her is mostly done. I skipped class yesterday to spend it with her, although after my very long audiology appointment I doubt I would have made it there on time anyways.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

if it makes me a radical… I’m ok with that

If it makes me a radical, I’m ok with that… but I believe ALL deaf children, ALL HoH children, should have the ability to learn ASL, or the sign language of their country. For me, its entirely the same if the child is unaided, aided or using CI’s or a Baha… but they should be able to learn and communicate in sign.

 

What has prompted this you may ask… well I’m part of a group… a Cochlear Group, for people or parents of children who have a CI. There are quite a few baby boomers in the group, as well as a few people my age, and some parents and grandparents of children with CI’s. Obviously I have nothing against CI’s themselves, because I have one, I made that choice, and I’m making the choice to get my left ear implanted as well… but too many people focus only on speech development, instead of language development. They are not the same. Speech is a modality of language, a modality of an oral language, such as English. Writing is also a modality… but language, lanugage is something totally different. Language, as defined in the dictionary is “a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings”. What does this mean for us? Language is about communication, language is about ideas, thoughts, feelings, and the ability to express those ideas thoughts and feelings… language is what connects us.

 

Now imagine, you are a small child… lets say 2 years old. And the only language you have ever known is sign language. You can hardly communicate as it is, because your family doesn’t understand what you want or what you need, although you understand it, and the people who know sign around you understand you as well. But you can communicate, at least basic things… now… imagine you are still the same little 2 year old, and your family is learning to understand you more and more, then one day you go to this scary place, no one is able to explain what is going on, but there are people in white coats, and you know they are going to give you a shot (the fear of every small child at the doctors office), and they do… but this time they don’t take the shot out, it stays in (IV)… you are scared, and no one knows what is wrong, no one will explain to you. You feel sleepy, and you fall asleep, when you wake up, you don’t feel good, your head hurts, and people look upset when you try and touch your head. A few weeks later, after your head is finally starting to feel normal, you have to go and get something put on your head… you are use to hearing aids, but this… this is different. Its so loud, the sounds are different, it isn’t what you are use to… and people aren’t explaining. You try to ask questions, but you are punished for trying to communicate… for trying to sign… for using your language… how scary…

 

now… to add to this scary, people are trying to make you wear this device all the time, and you get in trouble if you use signs, they want you to use your voice… everything is just beeps, its not understandable, eventually your brain will start to understand a word here and a word there, the beeps become less beepy… but it still isn’t normal. You are still punished for communicating in the way you know how… and your family doesn’t use any signs with you anymore. But… then when you are in the bathtub or swimming (which have become your favourite activities) your family is more than happy to communicate with you on your terms, a few signs here, a few gestures there… the signals are being mixed… you can’t figure out if it is ok to sign or not… sometimes you are rewarded, by effective communication… and other times you are punished… oh what a confusing life for a child…

 

from my perspective… a child needs communication. Hearing children are given the opportunity to use ASL, or at least a few signs from ASL, why are deaf children so different? Is it really all that different with a deaf child? People keep saying that if a deaf child learns ASL they will never speak, this is not true. If a hearing child learns ASL they end up speaking better, having a larger vocabulary.

Bilingualism has many benefits, and not just linguistically, but cognitively as well. A New York times Article  expands on this, saying “It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.” How can having a child be able to understand and communicate in two languages be a negative thing? I understand why parents implant their young children, I really do… but coming from a CI recipient, if I have a deaf child, I will let them choose. I have heard from many adult recipients, who were children when they were implanted who turned against their CI, who stopped speaking entirely, why? Because they felt their parents were trying to fix them, because they were deaf they would never be enough for their parents. On the flip side, I also have met quite a few young adults who were implanted as children and LOVE their CI’s (one of my friends actually, one of her CI’s after 20 years just broke, and she elected to have it replaced, because she loves it)… what is the difference between these two groups? Access to a visual language, bilingualism, acceptance. The second group didn’t feel they were less because they couldn’t hear without their CI, they knew their parents loved them enough to learn to communicate with THEM, no matter the situation… they were loved enough every opportunity was given to this child, they were loved so much their parents learned a whole language to be able to communicate with their child… nothing was tried to be “fixed” the children still knew they were deaf, and many of them actually identify as culturally Deaf, they weren’t stuck in-between worlds, but they had the best of BOTH worlds… the hearing world and the Deaf world… able to function wonderfully in BOTH worlds, in all situations.

 

Imagine the difference a thing like that can make… or better yet… let the child choose if they want an implant, its a scary process, it takes a lot of work… but when a child is old enough to choose if they want an implant, they are also old enough to say it needs remapped, when it isn’t working right, when its too loud, when its too quiet, when settings need to be changed. This blog  might help to clear some things up too, from a well known mother to a deaf child, who at the age of 7, decided on her own she wanted a CI.

 

Here is an interview from them both, (with captions!!)

So much…

Sorry its been way too long since my last post… but life has been very busy… to say the least. Quite a few things have happened… Here is a quick list.

 

  1. first actual MAPping
  2. second MAPping
  3. moving
  4. new coworker
  5. having to switch batteries
  6. school starting

 

So my first real MAPping happened… and that opened me up to quite a bit more sound. Before the MAPping process, I knew I was ready for more, I was straining to hear words (couldn’t understand them… but I could no longer hear them either). They turned up my volume quite a bit, and the program I used the majority of the time was my program 3, which was set to my needs in the office. My old program 3 was turned into program 1, and then program 2 was 20% quieter than program 3. They did this so that if when I got out of the quiet world of the office things were too loud for me… they weren’t. It was only first thing in the morning I used program 3, never returned to program 1. This was both a good and a bad thing. I still had 2 weeks before my next MAPping, but I felt comfortable on program 3. Then we did an audiogram… and I have to say… I have NEVER seen one of my audiograms look like that. We also did a closed set of words test. I was given a card with 12 pictures on it, and they would say random words on the card… I did much better than I expected. I got about 80% right the first time. I was mostly going off syllables, but I also was learning to go for the sounds I recognized… such as “sh” and “s”.

 

shows the differences between pre-surgery aided, non aided and now. All of the pre-surgerys were no responce… (thats what the downward arrow means) and the orange/red thing… that is where my average was after my first MAPping.

Then I had my second MAPping, and again, I was very ready for more sound… My loves mom came to visit, and I don’t know if she just talks really quiet or what, but I was completely lipreading her… I thought she wasn’t making any sound with her words… but my SO could hear and understand her. The last day of her moms visit was my second MAPping, and it took longer than they expected… because they didn’t think I would be needing as much sound as I was. Apparently I am a power hungry user… but the good news is there has been no facial stim. (where when sound comes in my facial nerves react, causing my face to twitch). They turned up the volume quite a bit. Again, my old program 3 was turned into program 1, and because it would be just about a month before I visit them again (My next appt is on Sept 24th) they set the one I was comfortable with as program 2 and raised my volume more than they normally would for program 3. Its been almost 2 weeks since my last MAPping (it was on Aug 27th) and I am now 100% on Program 3, even first thing in the morning. Although I am only at volume 1 first thing in the morning. Because I am a glutton for pain, and I wanted to be able to see the differences in my own volume, that first day I put on program 3 volume 10… which was a big mistake. This was something I really wasn’t ready for… it literally… hurt. When there was sound I had pain inside my cochleas… but now thankfully that doesn’t happen. Volume 10 is still too much for me, but volume 5 is great! I’m also starting to be able to understand things, sometimes, when I hear them. It really makes things easier if I have an idea about what is being said… it it is starting!

 

Another result of this MAPping, besides being late for class, but that is a different story, and switching from program 2 to program 3… I had to start using the Standard Batteries rather than the compact and lighter batteries. Now the standard, when I first got activated… was a bit too heavy for my ear, because I was still healing… but now I barely feel it is there. The compacts, last for a while… but this week, when I switched to program 3 all the time… it started dying before I was ready to charge it. I get up around 4:45 (hopefully) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I work early, then go to class… Well… Tuesday I had to switch to my backup processor because the battery died… right in the middle of class… so I kept my processor off for the last half of class. Then When class ended, I put the backup on… and I was hearing things again. With the second MAPping, we couldn’t do the testing that needed to be done… because I was already running late for class… so this next time, hopefully my actual Audi will be the one to set up my processor, and maybe there won’t be as many changes… that would be very nice.

 

battery size difference.

And on that topic… Classes Started the week before my second MAPping… I am taking 13 units and working full time. I have a Java Programming class, a C++ programming class, a Linux class and a history class. I have two of my favorite interpreters, one of whom is the interpreter coordinator. I’m loving school… but boy does that and work keep me busy. Last weekend we also moved… which was amazing, a huge adventure and I love the new place… but moving is hard, it takes time (which I’m already short on) and it takes $$$… The new place is so much bigger, has a washer and dryer, and is still on the first floor. We also have a patio, and a storage room (very small, but it works) and our own water heater. Its amazing the little things that make the difference for you. We hired movers… because of just having surgery and having a bed with a base that is over 300 lbs… we needed them. Our stuff didn’t fill up half of the truck…

 

so much space left.

the new place is cute, we also have a wood burning fire place

 

my adorable fireplace!!

the last big change in my life… I have a new coworker. For the most part, he is great… but he needs to learn more of the tech side of things… but he is learning quickly. He is great with the people, and good with the computers, and thankfully isn’t afraid of criticism or correction, he knows it will make him a better tech in the long run.

 

So there it is… my busy so called life. I have quite a bit of homework I need to do… all the time, but I’m enjoying my life. Now… if I could figure out where I put my remote for my CI, I am wanting a bit more volume right now… (I know the 3 places it could be… I need to remember to put it back in its case and keep that on me)…

Jury Duty Day 1 July 30, 2012

Ok, so I have been selected to be a juror on a trial by Jury for a criminal Second Degree assault case. But, because I can’t actually talk about the case while it is going on, this blog will not be published until we the Jury have reached a verdict. Jury selection took much longer than I thought it would, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney ask questions to the jury, so does the judge.

Jury duty is a little different in my case, because I don’t understand the words coming out of people’s mouths, being Deaf, I am using two Sign Language interpreters, who switch off every 20-30 minutes. The interpreters have to be sworn in, I’m not entirely sure what they are promising, but they have to be sworn in too. One thing, even with my Criminal Justice minor, its really interesting that though we will be returning a verdict of guilty or not guilty, we are not actually judging if the defendant is guilty or not, but what we are judging is if the district attorney has proved beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant was guilty.

This case is not about was it done, but more about who did it. The defendant is saying he did not commit the assault. I cannot make a decision at this point if the defendant has done the crime, or if the district attorney can prove he was the one who committed the crime. We only had jury selection and opening arguments today, we have heard no evidence.

 

What I can say, is I think I know why the district attorney (DA) was happy to have me on the case, the victim in this case uses an interpreter to speak to people who speak English. This man uses Vietnamese as his language; the district attorney says his English is “broken”. This is not a term I am happy about, but I understand what he is meaning. Though my English has never been described as “broken” I have several friends who people have said use broken English. The DA described how when the victim was in the hospital, he had a hard time communicating with doctors, with nurses, with police officers. This man was in the hospital for a week, I can imagine how scary it was for this guy not to be able to tell people what was wrong, what was happening, even have a simple conversation with the nurse. I can see why the DA was happy to have me on his trial, something I hadn’t thought would really happen. I thought they wouldn’t want to have a Deaf person on the trail, I thought they wouldn’t want the costs of the interpreters. My interpreters will not be the only interpreters for the case, there will be people who use Vietnamese interpreters as well.

I am not allowed to talk to anyone I don’t know during the trial, because we can’t say who is a witness and who isn’t. I also have to wear a tag that says I’m a juror, that way attorneys will know not to talk about cases around me (even though I can’t understand what they are saying…) The judge made a special instruction for me, there are times when both attorneys go up to the bench, to discuss something they aren’t sure is ok for the jury to hear… the judge asked people not to strain their ears, and not to use any lip reading to know what is going on.

 

We had to wear this so people would know we were Jurors, and not to talk around us

That was day 1, I will hopefully write more about day 2. This is maybe going to help me decide what I will be able to decide, but if nothing else, this will be a good record for me, sitting in court and trying to make a decision that will impact more than one persons lives (even though there is only one defendant).