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An ASL interpreter makes Lauren Daigle's Festival International performance more inclusive

Posted at 12:19 PM, Apr 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-29 23:11:52-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — Festival International provided an ASL interpreter for Lauren Diagle's Bicentennial Celebration. KATC spoke to the ASL interpreter who signed throughout the performance and her friend, who stood in the audience watching her sign.

Megan Montent, a member of the deaf community and festival volunteer says experiencing the festival for the first time is an unforgettable experience for one festival volunteer from the deaf community.

"Honestly, I feel like finally it's been a long time coming because I have been through many concerts, in the past no interpreter I couldn't even stand in the front," said Megan Montent. "I had to be in the back so it's a good experience to see it, especially from a friend of mine. So I was very inspired last night."

Dr. Racheal Brown holds a Ph.D. in ASL and Bilingualism studies and is honored to have performed alongside Lauren Daigle, for members of the deaf community.

"I have been signing since childhood, I was curious so I took a class because I wanted to connect with someone who had a different language background than I and just was super fascinated," Brown said. "Then I fell in love with it and the deaf community as people. I made deaf friends and then it became my career. I taught deaf kids for 10 years then became an assistant principal at a deaf school."

Montent hopes to see more ASL interpreters at festivals and encourages anyone from the deaf community to know that there is a place for them at festivals.

"I would tell them not to be afraid, that's how change happens. Just go for it, there will be a change," said Montet.

Deaf/Deaf-blind even had their own ADA section to be closer to Rachael Brown while she signs.

"So they like to come around and support their community as well but having access to the music is a whole another level for them so being able to support that community while they are supporting us, it's magical, it's really special."

KATC spoke with Festival International organizers who say they will push to incorporate more ASL interpreters for future festivals to come so that all can enjoy the music.