Keeping deaf fans rockin’

Marc Ramirez in the Seattle Times:

2002850755…Ball and others like Pam Parham, who also worked the show, are professional interpreters who help deaf fans experience the power of live concerts, positioned between those fans and the stage.

The craft is harder than it sounds: At its best, it’s being prepared and knowledgeable enough to communicate the essence of an artist’s lyrics over the actual words. By law, venues must provide interpreters upon request. And while local ticket sellers report just a handful of requests a year — typically for big-name events — it’s been particularly busy for KeyArena, which has trotted out U2, McCartney and the Stones.

At Monday’s show, Bon Jovi himself had yet to take the stage. The crowd rippled with anticipation. You could see it play out in Ball’s face and hands, which bent and contorted as her body swayed to the music. With such help, “you feel like you’re part of it,” Kennedy says. “It’s like when you go to the movies — if the movie is captioned, you can enjoy it with everyone else.”

More here.