Mill Neck, NY — October 12, 2021 — Earlier this year, Elizabeth Thompson, a Graduate Fellow from The Rockefeller University, contacted Mill Neck Interpreter Service (MNIS) to inquire about interpreting services for a monthly podcast series, Politics Under the Microscope. Thompson is a Co-Host and Co-Founder of the podcast, a collaborative effort of graduate students from The Tri-Institutional (Tri-I) Campus in New York City, which includes The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medical College Center and the Gerstner Memorial Sloan Graduate School.
Through the National Science Policy Network, Thompson and her team were awarded the Lifting Underrepresented Voices Grant in order to provide accessibility of these podcasts to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. The comprehensive series features a scientific perspective on political and social issues, with conversations ranging from history, culture, and community to COVID-19, the vaccine and vaccine hesitancy. Through a developing partnership between MNIS and The Tri-I community, discussions commenced regarding the need for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities to have full access to the podcast’s critical information. Providing interpreters helps ensure that the information is completely accessible.
Once the grant was awarded and the podcasts recorded, Mill Neck interpreters, Michael Fisher and Jenna Larkin, began work on preparing and recording their interpretations in order to make them accessible as quickly as possible. Since the information presented in the series was time-sensitive and crucial to staying safe during the pandemic, this was especially important. “Interpreting these podcasts has been a great experience. Not only am I providing access to information that is so critical at this point in time, but I am also learning so much about the science and policy behind it that I had no knowledge of prior,” Fisher said. He added, “I sincerely thank Elizabeth for giving Mill Neck Interpreter Service the opportunity to be a partner in this. I also thank Jenna for her unwavering support in this process as well!”
Mill Neck Interpreter Service continues to work with the Politics Under the Microscope team to ensure that information pertaining to the pandemic is quickly and accurately relayed to the communities that need it most. Rockefeller University’s Thompson is appreciative of a continuing association with MNIS, saying, “Our podcast produces content lying at the intersection of science, society, and politics, and draws people of various expertise and backgrounds to provide key insights into complex issues. With the hopes of drawing more members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing into STEM and policy discussions, we were thrilled to work with Mill Neck to increase accessibility of our content. It has been a rewarding and eye-opening experience to collaborate with Michael and Jenna and watch our material and voices be interpreted into ASL. Our next series will tackle climate change and we hope to collaborate with Mill Neck again to interpret those episodes into ASL.”
For more information about Politics Under the Microscope, including episodes, featured interviews, descriptions and transcripts, as well as a link to interpretation on YouTube, visit: https://www.politicsunderthemicroscope.com/.
About Mill Neck Interpreter Service
For more than 25 years, businesses and organizations have chosen Mill Neck Interpreter Service—a non-profit agency comprised of the industry’s leading American Sign Language interpreters and Deaf Sign Language interpreters. Available in person and remotely, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community throughout Long Island and the Metropolitan area, our ASL interpreters are professional, accurate and reliable. With our video remote interpreting option, we are able to provide services nationwide.
About Mill Neck Family of Organizations
The Mill Neck Family of Organizations, founded by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf in 1947, includes Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, Mill Neck Services, Mill Neck Interpreter Service, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf and Mid-Island Audiology at Mill Neck. Mill Neck is dedicated to creating a world in which Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals are included, empowered, celebrated and embraced as equals through quality and accessible education, sign language, spiritual development, employment, and habilitation programs and services.
To learn more about the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, please visit millneck.org or call 516-922-4100/SVRS® 516-558-3315.
Director of Community Outreach