Originally Posted by Reba
Wow, that was a bad attitude terp. You handled the situation very well, very patiently, and very firmly. Good for you!
The terp was off-base. Even if the rest of the Deaf community in your area uses a different sign, she should accept that YOU use a sign that is acceptable for you, and she should adapt to that.
Terps have to adapt their signs for different clients all the time. Terps have to be flexible. I have interpreted for clients that are different ages, from different states, different educational backgrounds, different ethnic groups, so they have various signs. Sometimes it is hard to remember who uses what, but the client usually reminds me, then no problem. I never tell a Deaf client, "that is a wrong sign", or "that is an old sign". Sometimes I will show someone a new sign and ask, "have you seen this sign before?" or "which sign do you prefer?"
The terp was wrong to tell you to use the sign that is common to the community. If other Deaf in your community have a problem about your signs, it is up to them to complain to you, not the terp's responsibility.
The one she used was more common for overall in this country, but most Deaf in my community use same sign as me, though I think many of them maybe learned it from me or my family using it. So they don't have any problems with it at all, it was just her finding the shock that she doesn't know everything!
The sign I prefer is used many places here and overseas including in Israel, so it's not like it's only me that use it. Other Deaf who have contact with Jewish people here (in New Zealand) use same sign, she was just wanting me to use what many other people still use if they don't know of different signs or that the other one is hurtful to some people. She was new to town from bigger city and thought she knows best because of that. Using that old sign which is officially meant to be try to phase out here, is like calling somone a slur. So I felt I needed to speak up about it, so I was very glad that she understood and appologised in the end and learn something new.