Gallaudet University Press

12:12 Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Video Relay Interpreter or Witness for the Prosecution?

An Interpreter Finds Murder in the Deaf World


In Secret Signs, Gallaudet University Press’s first murder mystery, Amy Kellen, a video relay service (VRS) interpreter for deaf clients witnesses a murder on her monitor that plunges her into an ethical dilemma and mortal peril.

Author T.J. Waters wastes no time introducing Amy to instant danger. While interpreting for Harold Kensington, a deaf political strategist, Amy at first thinks she’s seeing an ordinary domestic scene:

A white-faced German shepherd walked into view behind Harold Kensington. He reached down to pet the animal, but missed. “Hey, Champ. How you doing?” Kensington said. “How was the groomer’s today, huh? Geez, you look terrible, buddy.” Kensington turned back to the camera and resumed talking. Without warning, the German shepherd suddenly jumped up and clamped its teeth on Kensington’s throat. The old man jumped in surprise. His eyes widened in panic as he fell onto the floor.

“Oh my God!” Amy yelled.

Kensington thrashed around, his office chair slipping away on its rollers. He knocked aside a small tray, sending coffee and a pastry flying out of sight. He grabbed handfuls of fur, pulling furiously on the dog, but to no avail. He punched the animal several times, but because he was lying on his back, his strikes were glancing at best. The dog pulled him to one side. Kensington’s left arm was too close for an effective punch, the right arm too far away. He flailed wildly, unable to get his legs underneath him to stand up. The dog was too strong.

She was transfixed, frozen in horror. Her muscles refused to act. As Kensington grew tired, the dog moved again, and was now standing on his chest. His jaws were still locked tight on the old man’s throat. His fur stood on end as his claws ripped into the expensive fabric of Harold Kensington’s suit.

“Oh my God! Stop! Stop!” Amy yelled again as she pounded her fists on the screen. She hopped out of the chair and put her face only inches from the monitor. She reached for the phone but stopped.

Could she legally cut off the connection herself? She looked back to the monitor and started again for the phone, only to stop again.

Amy sobbed as her hands covered her face. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know how to help. How could she just sit there and do nothing? There must be some way to stop this animal.

Amy pulled off her headset and let it drop to the ground as she stared up at the ceiling.

“Somebody help me!” she screamed.

Read more about this exciting new thriller in the prelude. By using your exclusive subscriber discount, you will receive 20% off the regular price. When ordering online, type in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also reserve a copy by mail.

Anne Quartararo’s work in Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France was very well-received in a review from H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Reviews Online: “Quartararo is to be congratulated for producing an interesting and illuminating insight into the development of deaf identity in France. Not only does she provide a detailed picture of the factors that influenced this development, but she also shows the way a number of external factors that have not been previously considered had major impacts. The changing attitudes of revolutionary and republican governments and the restored monarchy all played major roles in the education provided for deaf people. These in turn affected the development of deaf political activism and identity as responses to the conditions deaf people found themselves subjected to and their disadvantaged and discriminated position within wider French society.”

“In writing this book, Quartararo also underlines the important but somewhat neglected contribution deaf people in France have played in the emergence of a broader conception of deaf identity that crosses artificially constructed national and political boundaries and that focuses more on shared deafness and all that this brings with it in terms of shared outlooks and experiences. This is a fascinating book that will be of interest to everyone interested in deaf education, disability politics, community formation, and a wide range of other disciplines.” Read more about this new study in chapter five, “Molding a Deaf Identity: Deaf Leaders, Banquets, and Community Rituals, 1830 to 1880”, and order Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France.

Handy Stories to Read and Sign, written by renowned linguistics professor and author Donna Jo Napoli and certified interpreter Doreen DeLuca, takes a fun, illustrated approach to help beginning readers, deaf and hearing, improve their comprehension of both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Also available is the Handy Stories to Read and Sign Companion DVD. A reviewer with SIGNews, a newspaper for the signing community, has nothing but kind words for this bilingual primer, stating: “[Handy Stories to Read and Sign] is [a] good opportunity for beginning readers. My five- and six-year-old boys love this book. It is easy for them to see both ASL being illustrated and English being printed in this book. They got the opportunity to receive both languages from one book. My mother has 30+ years of experience in [the] education field and said that this book is great. I would recommend this book to anyone who uses sign language. To those who know sign language and want to read this book to a child who can read, that I would recommend. Kudos to Napoli, DeLuca, and Klusza. You all did a fantastic job!” View a sample video clip from the Handy Stories to Read and Sign Companion DVD, and order the book, the DVD, or the book/DVD set today!

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