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May 1 – International Worker´s Day

Banner with the photo of Joel Mercado while interpreting in Sign Language. The banner title says “Professions building cultural bridges. Interview with Joel Mercado Peguero by Lelio Sánchez” The heading is a text saying: “May 1 – International Worker´s Day.” The banner bottom states: “Read the full note on www.comparlante.com” and the logo of Fundación Comparlante.

Fundación Comparlante invites you to meet Joel Mercado Peguero, American and Dominican Sign Language Interpreter, with more than 13 years of experience, who has worked in art industry and digital means.

 

Joel was one of the interpreters who worked in the Coldplay´s concert whose video went viral on social media.

 

Cultural spaces such as theater or music events were invented so that community at large can enjoy them. Nevertheless, a portion of the community like people with hearing disabilities needs help to fully enjoy such events.

 

This is the perfect moment when a Sign Language Interpreter gets a critical role since this professional eases communication between deaf people and people who can hear.

 

In the latest presentation of the British band, wearable sensor vests were used to let deaf people to feel vibrations and enjoy an accessible experience.

 

How was the experience of working with Coldplay?

 

It was amazing being part of a high-quality event like this one, and with a show never seen before! This blew my mind, indeed!

 

For days, I felt super excited to have followed the beat of the music and interpreted each song in Sign Language.

 

How did you learn Sign Language?

 

First, with basic courses provided by Jehovah’s Witnesses; then, with the National Association of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters.

 

My first approach to the deaf community was back in 2004 when I started learning Sign Language to teach the Bible to people with hearing disability.

 

When was your first experience working on a concert?

 

I interpreted for the singer Alex Mala Junta, who was the first person in having Sign Language Interpretation in his audiovisuals, at the Music Day organized by the French Alliance.

 

For this same reason, he received the Mara de Oro award in 2016 in Venezuela.

 

What have deaf people told you about the participation of an interpreter in a concert?

 

Everybody tells me that they are grateful, and they wish more activities like this one are interpreted in Sign Language. The expressed that they would like to have more cultural activities with interpreters.

 

 

As an organization promoting accessibility and the full enjoyment of culture and entertainment rights, we invite more companies and artists to add to their events tools and professionals such as Joel, committed  to a world of equity for all.

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