CM Hall Wins New Role with NPR!

by | Jan 6, 2022

I’m so pleased to introduce my friend & colleague CM Hall. She lives in Newport, Oregon, and serves as City Councilor. We have worked together in Lincoln County for about 5 years. 

CM is currently Co-Director, Deaf/Blind National Training &  Resource Center,  Western Oregon University. She is a nationionally-certified sign language interpreter…

Okay. I’ve been BURSTING to share this with you all FOR MONTHS! Please, please – read/watch/listen to this. It would mean so much to me!

So if you know me, you know I LOVE OPB (Oregon’s NPR affiliate). I’ve been a pledge-drive volunteer since 2000. LOVE IT.

And, I love the weekday program called Think Out Loud. They cover news, events, and stories largely from Oregon and SW Washington.

Personally I have had a dream that I’d get to be on it some way, someday. (I thought for the Coming Out Monologues, but nah.)

Anyway, this fall when we got the news that my work got the new 5-year grant, I reached out to Think Out Loud. I thought it would be a great opportunity to cover our interpreter training grant and/or to feature Jelica Nuccio, our work’s lead DeafBlind consultant for an interview about Protactile language.

I knew it would take some effort to make this work, given radio is an aural format, really. We started talking back in October with them and it took a bit but it came together! We provided the interpreter, the background knowledge, prep, and expertise.

Then the host, Dave Miller, the executive producer, Sage Van Wing, their audio engineer, Nalin, and their videographer, Kris, all came to Western Oregon University where the interview took place.

So often, stories about Deaf and DeafBlind folks miss the point, make cringe-inducing errors, spin on inspiration porn, and/or just plain, get it wrong.  I was impressed with the care and intentionality the OPB team took to get it right.

Sure, there were some smaller errors: Protactile language wasn’t created and the language didn’t start in Oregon (but our grant is based at Western Oregon University), but overall, I am so pleased with the piece and felt it worthwhile to share.

I know it’d be easy to just paste a link to OPB… but…wait, wait – I’ll tell ya – this was an important undertaking and DBI value – to be able to share this with everyone as best as we could at the same time for equity and inclusion.

We wanted to share this once we knew that it was also in an accessible format for our DeafBlind and Deaf stakeholders, at the same time hearing folks could access it. That meant ensuring the transcript was accurate and that there were image descriptions and a written transcript of the short video on the website as well.

The accessible link below takes you to our DBI website. The complete transcript is there. The link to the podcast and video on the OPB website is at the very bottom of DBI’s webpage.

And if you do listen to the podcast, 2 min before the end of the program, Dave Miller gives me a special shout out. You can guess that my brain exploded. I can die now.  💚💛💜

Would love to hear your thoughts if you get a chance to read/watch/listen! Thank you for reading this!

CM Hall

Steve & Judy Sparks
Children & Families in Life After Trauma

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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