ASL Interpreter at NYC Sandy Press Conference Steals Show, Takes Over Twitter

Author: Steve Woods
Published: November 04, 2012 at 7:25 am

A sign language interpreter positively stole the press conference during a recent Hurricane Sandy update held by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

As Bloomberg droned on as part of an ongoing, chin-up effort to inform and maintain the morale of New York City residents, interpreter Lydia Callis did her level best to ensure those that could not hear the Mayor were kept up to date. Her animated efforts have earned Callis social media star status, particularly on Twitter, where the tweets continue to flow since the press conference was released on YouTube.

Maybe it was because Bloomberg had been up so long overseeing emergency command center efforts. Maybe the lack of open Starbucks was taking its toll on the leader of the Big Apple. Whatever the case, Bloomberg looked like a zombie compared to the lively woman quietly working her magic by his side.

Sneak a peek at 3:55, when Mayor Bloomberg coughs and the interpreter makes sure those of us who are hearing impaired knew it happened, as only she could.

Not wanting to miss their opportunity to find something to laugh about within the tragedy of Sandy, Saturday Night Live had its take on the press conference:

After the conference, Callis' interpreting efforts even got the gif treatment - the standard for social notoriety these days.

Some of the best parts of the video are when Bloomberg himself finally comes alive and is a best testy with the reporters' questions. Callis, a consumate professional, performs the almost Herculean task of real-time interpretation in a stressful environment with aplomb.

Gesture for gesture, look for look, Callis deserves all of the positive notoriety she receives, if for nothing else, for her quiet efforts in maintaining the morale of those of us who cannot hear our city leaders in a crisis.

Image courtesy Gifboom, videos courtesy YouTube, Hulu, SNL


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Article Author: Steve Woods

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