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Mayor Bloomberg’s Sign Language Interpreter

Mayor Bloomberg's Sign Language Interpreter
Lydia Callis: 5 Things You Don't Know

By Allison Takeda, US Magazine, 10/31/2012

In the wake of superstorm Sandy this week, several unlikely stars have stepped into the spotlight. Among them? Lydia Callis, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's awesomely animated sign language interpreter, whose expressive translations at recent press conferences have been compared to first-class performance art.

Here, Us Weekly uncovers five fun facts about the scene-stealing signer who, as New York Magazine wrote, has given people "a legitimate reason to smile" during these hard times.

1. She's a relatively recent graduate. According to NPR, Callis, 30, trained at the Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where she got her interpreting degree in 2010. "Linda Siple, a professor in NTID's [American Sign Language] and Interpreting Education program, recalls Callis as 'highly motivated, gracious, and professional...She was very motivated with the deaf community here,'" Rochester spokesperson Greg Livadas said in an email to NPR.

2. She has personal ties to the deaf community. DNAinfo New York reports that Westchester resident Callis has been interpreting for her mom and three siblings -- all of whom are deaf -- since she was a child. She also works as an American Sign Language interpreter for schools, hospitals, and businesses.

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