I am endlessly fascinated by hidden lore. That may sound like an odd way to preface a post about my time working with ATSP, but allow me to clarify. My experience with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing was fairly limited prior to this job. Moreover, I had never even heard of a transcriber or captionist before. These were things I had never really given much thought, and yet, when I came to intern with ATSP, learning about these things was the reality of my new position.
I was ecstatic about this development. As I said before, I have always been curious about communities and their stories, especially when those stories have been buried in our modern, media-centric landscape. As an intern for ATSP, I was given the opportunity to work just below the surface of public consciousness. I was privy to an entire network of knowledge that most individuals had no idea existed, and it was my job to help share this information with the larger world. Yet, this is not why my experience at ATSP was a net positive.
Deep within this communication web, I met and talked with so many wonderful, supportive people. Of course, one could reasonably expect that people so deeply involved with accessibility services would be accommodating, but it is always refreshing to have the inherent good of humanity affirmed, especially through the internet, where the very worst of mankind is so often put on display.
Interning with ATSP, I met individuals who work extremely hard to improve the quality of life for others. Across the country, these folks do this work, not for fame or recognition, but because they know they can help. Too often, the current state of the Earth seems tragic. Yet, here, just below the surface, is an entire community of good people looking to help other good people. And I got to be the one who helped share their stories through ATSP’s newsletter.
Sometimes, when we go down the digital rabbit hole, we emerge not sullied by the experience, but with a deeper appreciation for those who work behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly on the surface. I feel fortunate that I got to be a part of that.