BFL’s Secret Garden Debuts Domestic Violence Informational Video In American Sign Language
Barrier Free Living’s (BFL) Secret Garden domestic violence program teamed with filmmaker Blake Drummond to create an American Sign Language (ASL) video to share information with Deaf and Hard of Hearing victims of domestic violence.
Supported by the 2012 Office on Violence Against Women Disabilities Grant Program, BFL collaborated with its four grant-funded partners (New York County District Attorney’s Offfice, Harlem Independent Living Center, Crime Victims Treatment Center and CONNECT) to create signed, captioned videos for each agency’s website to enhance the accessibility of information to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.
“Filming the ASL videos encouraged the grant-funded partners to think critically about messaging — what’s being said, who is saying it, and who is the target audience,” says Laura Fidler, Project Director. “The partners worked with Deaf, Hard of Hearing and ASL-fluent professionals to develop messages that are clear, succinct and meaningful for Deaf and Hard of Hearing viewers.”
The video, featuring Secret Garden intern Morgane Vincent, explores the dynamics of unhealthy relationships and provides resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing victims.
“I loved being part of this experience. It was a first time for me, and I learned a lot more than I expected doing the video. I have met people that I wouldn’t have met,” says Vincent.
Secret Garden team member Nicolyn Plummer was instrumental in guiding the project to completion, working with the entire Secret Garden staff to develop the script. Plummer worked on the ASL translation with Secret Garden’s Michelle Reyes.
“It is a privilege and an honor working with the collaborative team to enhance system-wide accessibility for a diverse deaf community, and understand multi-deaf culture, as deaf needs are not homogeneous. It is not one size fits all,” says Plummer.
Drummond (who also shot BFL’s mission film video) says: “Working with the team at BFL to create the video for Secret Garden’s Services for the Deaf was an incredible experience. I hope it raises awareness and aids the underserved Deaf community in finding help if they need it. There’s no better feeling for a filmmaker than when a collaboration, such as this video, can enact meaningful change.”