Inclusivity at the forefront of digital media student Keisha Perez – Valencia Voice

Accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing A focal point in the new era of digital media

(PC: Valencia OSD.) Pictured: Katryna Arias (Valencia staff interpreter), Jordan Wojtas (Valencia staff interpreter), Keisha Perez Lucena (centre), Judith Britt (Valencia staff interpreter) and Isabella Johnston (founder and CEO of Employers 4 Change). Note: Jason Sindoni, video content editor, contributor and Valencia student, was not present.

More summer break, Keisha Pérez, a 20-year-old Valencia College student, AS in Digital Media Technology specializing in motion graphics, was celebrated at Podfest Expo for helping create an inclusive video addressing deaf access and hearing impaired in podcast spaces. Through an internship with Cat5 Studios, an Isabella Johnston production company, Pérez helped create a one-minute “heartwarming” inclusion collaborative video for PodFest Expo.. The convention, held at the Hilton Orlando, ran from May 26-29 and featured members of the podcasting community, vendors and podcast business development panels. Winners received a $100 gift card, convention access, and Pérez was invited to be a keynote speaker at the convention opening ceremony.

PC: Jeremy Gottschalk. PodFest Expo logo at the Hilton Orlando on May 26.

As a Deaf student and aspiring digital media professional, Pérez saw the opportunity to create an introduction as a way to express the obstacles she faces in her career field. In the video below, Employers4Change CEO Isabella Johnston chats with Pérez about picking up tickets to Podfest Expo. Judith Britt, an ASL interpreter on staff at Valencia, signed on with narration as well as visual and audio editing were provided by student Jason Sindoni.

Heather Davidoff, Mercury Direct Events, discussed the idea behind Podfest Expo, “What’s really unique about PFX, (the conventions) are usually business. It’s about community, they’re more about community and bringing everyone in, we bring in the businesses and say, “Businesses join the party.” Registering for the event introduced options to find out if someone needed accommodations or had ADA needs.

(PC: Valencia OSD) Pictured: Katryna Arias (Valencia staff interpreter), Jordan Wojtas (Valencia staff interpreter), Keisha Perez Lucena (centre), Judith Britt (Valencia staff interpreter) and Isabella Johnston (founder and CEO Employers 4 Change) . Note: Jason Sindoni, video content editor, contributor and Valencia student, was not present.

Keisha Pérez was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Florida in 2017 after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Pérez discovered that the sign language used in Puerto Rico is different from that used in Florida. “The bases and foundations are the same but the rest of the grammatical structure is different; especially since the support and accommodation of the deaf community in Puerto Rico is not the same as here. While in Puerto Rico, Pérez’s mother turned to home schooling. Pérez says, “My family learned American Sign Language (ASL) with me and made sure I could still communicate with them. I started losing my hearing at the age of four, it was gradual, so it took a few years before I lost most of my hearing. I did speech therapy for a long time, learned to pronounce words and read lips. At seven years old I started wearing my first hearing aids, at that time I had a 70% hearing loss. »

Pérez explains his experience moving to Florida and starting at Valencia College. “I didn’t know much English,” she recalls, “I grew used to communicating with hearing people in Spanish. My first year in the United States, I had to learn to read and speak English, and the ASL used in Florida has many differences, so I had to relearn ASL. Afterwards, I felt ready to join Valencia College and begin my studies. They provided interpreters for all my classes and made sure I always had the right accommodation.

Donna Kimmeth, Valencia Accessibility Program and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Coordinator, says, “We have a top-notch team of sign language interpreters and captioners in Valencia, a compassionate and hard-working team at the Office students with disabilities on every campus, and we are very fortunate to have an incredibly caring faculty working alongside us to help our students succeed in their chosen career field.

Pérez encountered other obstacles outside of the classroom. She mentions how fearful students can seem and how often people can be afraid to talk to deaf people.
“Don’t be afraid to try to talk with us. Many people prefer to avoid us because they think that we will not understand them or that we do not know how to behave with others. It is completely false. Deaf people may not be able to hear, but we tend to be very perceptive people. It’s a lonely world for someone who can’t hear what’s going on around us.

Keisha also offers this advice:

“Don’t make the situation worse by running away from us. We are willing to do our best to communicate with you. Whether we had to use paper and pen to write back and forth or use an interpreter.
“But please, above all, don’t shout. If you shout, we still won’t be able to hear you, we will only see your expressions and by exaggerating them, it will be harder for us to read them. Do

stronger doesn’t make it better. Speak clearly, articulate well and be patient.

Pérez continues to strive for accessibility and inclusivity in his academic, professional, and social pursuits. She hopes to start a specialization in video production in 2023.

Source link