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  1. You’ll find a lot of things about me and my work if you google my name. http://blog.melchua.com may be helpful, as well as http://twitter.com/mchua, to give you a sense of my wording/register/propensity for run-on sentences/sense of humor, etc.
  2. I grew up oral. One-on-one, I speechread well. For brief interactions, I may be fine alone. If it’s longer, please interpret. A good rule of thumb is to proactively slide in behind the speaker and begin interpreting. Thanks!
  3. I used to default to speaking for myself in hearing settings when I’m working with a new team for the first time. This is starting to shift. If I'm in a more relaxed position (meeting with colleagues I'm more comfortable with, low-stakes workshops and classes, etc.) I'll start off signing. If it's a higher-stakes situation and we try voicing, it will either be (1) in safe waters - ex: “please pass the salt” type comments - or (2) have tons of prep - ex: “I have written a script for this slide deck you can follow verbatim if you want.” I will let you know ahead of time if I'll be signing or speaking for myself (or both). It’s always an option to ask me to voice something if you are tired or not following my signing (really, it’s okay, I’m not offended; they’re both my languages and I love English just as much as ASL). The main exception to this is if another signing DHH person is present. In that case, I may sign and ask you to interpret to spoken English, because I try to avoid simcomming.
  4. All that having been said, I do prefer going more ASL receptively when the context and shared vocabulary are clear. You will see me signing with a strong mainstream/English accent and think “ah, she must prefer PSE!” Nope. My receptive preferences are totally independent of my (current lack of) ability to control my mix of expressive PSE/ASL.
  5. Context and shared vocabulary will often not be clear, because… they’re research discussions! I’m accustomed to academic ASL with mouthing of key vocabulary, and do appreciate seeing the English when interacting in situations where using the same vocabulary as the hearing speakers would be helpful (yay power dynamics). If you aren’t familiar with the jargon, mouth the word and guess at the phonetic spelling, and we’ll have a high chance of getting the right word. After some time, if I’m familiar with the concepts being discussed, I may be able to feed you a better spatial setup.
  6. During presentations with minimal audience interaction and visual aids, I’m comfortable following the powerpoint without interpreting until the speaker starts spontaneous expression again. I may look away to take notes; if I do, please hold and chunk the points I miss. (If I’m doing that for an extended period of time, feel free to just keep going.)
  7. To give you an idea of my discipline: I have a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education. I teach college courses in engineering and computing. Technical, educational, and social science terminology come up often in my work. Medical terminology also comes up when I cross over into biomedical engineering.
  8. I’m an extrovert. Please let me know if you’re getting tired, and we’ll take breaks.
  9. When meetings are informal, please introduce yourself to everyone, because I’ll forget.
  10. I often work with hearing people who have never met a Deaf professional before. Please let me know how you feel about educating hearing participants about ASL and interpreting. I know “empowering the Deaf person to explain this stuff themselves” is a thing, but I’ve also answered that question fifty thousand times before, and delegation is an empowered act (if you’re comfortable with it).