Creative Solutions for Hearing-Impaired Audience and Speakers


All organizations are concerned about how to best convey their message to their attendees and stakeholders at their annual meetings or conventions, but for Registry for Interpreters of the Deaf, Inc., (RID) this concern is taken to another level:  how to communicate via multiple methods simultaneously.  Image magnification on the screens and powerful sound systems are not enough when your audience is hearing-impaired, and not all are English-speaking.  Markey's listened closely to the needs and concerns of the planning staff of RID, and was able to deliver a personalized solution for this organization.

The 2013 RID National Conference & Exhibition was held August 9-14, 2013, at the JW Marriott Indianapolis.  The conference was comprised of seven general sessions, an entertainment night, and closing banquet, with 18 rooms serving as breakout rooms each day.

The needs for this conference were unique, in that the message being expressed onstage had to be conveyed via several communication methods.  There were American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for the speakers using microphones to speak, but also Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) who interpreted for the speakers signing for themselves in ASL.  CDIs are specially trained in delivering the nuances and meaning of the speech for the deaf.  Additionally, Closed Captioning was used on each screen as another means of transmitting the speeches and panel conversations.  Last, the presentations were translated into 3 different languages and delivered via FM headsets to attendees who could hear, but were not native English speakers.


The most complex part of this event was coordinating all the video elements, as the conference was also being transmitted online via Livestream for those not able to attend the conference.  At any given moment, Markey's was Livestreaming with PIPS, Closed Captioning, graphics, and sometimes live editing of a Word document.  Not only that, Markey’s had two camera operators, each focused on one of the two people signing, and that was projected onto a split screen, so the audience could see both at all times. A third camera operator focused on cover shots.  All the camera work had to accommodate both the live audience and the online audience.

Staging design was kept relatively simple so as to not distract from the ASL speakers and interpreters.  Truss sails were given a wash of color with Tripix.  Additional lighting included 2K Fresnel Fixtures, ETC Source Four Lekos and Martin MAC 700 Profile and Wash fixtures.

Christie 10k projectors and Sony High Definition cameras were used on four 11.3' x 20' screens to show all the video, graphics, Image Magnification and Closed Captioning.  JBL Vertec Line Arrays were used for sound.

Markey's also provided the equipment needed for a Conference Resource Center, a Cyber Café, and six offices for the RID staff.


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