Friday, April 24, 2015

Creating the Signs of Rugby

This is actually an old project now but I wanted to share it.

In 2012 I made a documentary film about linguistic innovation around the first long lasting community of practice of Deaf rugby players.

Language innovation requires having enough language users engaged in a task over a long enough period of time for new vocabulary to be created, accepted, and disseminated through common use. Prior to 2009 there had been no critical mass of deaf people who had been involved with rugby long enough for standardized signs to be created. That changed when Mark Burke established a team at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington D.C. Over the next several years Deaf players and coaches created and codified terms for rugby specific vocabulary.

This documentary was the impetus for the creation of the Innovation in Interpreting Research award at Gallaudet University. This project was the first to receive the award.

The film has been screened at Gallaudet University, along with a presentation on language innovation and communities of practice. If you would like to book a workshop and screening please be in touch.

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