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October 24, 2015

She isn't deaf, but Margie Propp says she's more comfortable signing than speaking.

Her father, who lost his hearing at age 15, helped found the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a state advocacy group. Her mother, one of the commission's first staffers, grew up deaf and came from a deaf family.

Propp's older brother is deaf, too, and her other siblings use sign language to make a living.

But none of that automatically qualifies Propp to be a sign language interpreter, she said.

Professional interpreters must listen, understand and sign almost simultaneously, all while removing or reinserting extraneous words that would make signing nearly impossible but are necessary in a spoken conversation. They also require ethics training, vocabulary for special scenarios — even lessons on what clothes to wear so their hands are clearly visible.

Read more  . . . New rules

By Sara Kirkley, Nebraska TV Weekend Anchor, 3/24/2014

A shelter in Nebraska is using sign language to communicate with two deaf dogs.Neb_deaf_dogs

It's a rare problem for one central Nebraska shelter now trying to communicate with two deaf dogs.

For one of these pit bull mixes, that means learning sign language.

One sign at a time 4-year-old Rosie is beginning to connect.

"It's the only way to communicate with her," said Tracie Pfeifle, a volunteer at the Central Nebraska Humane Society.

Pfeifle decided to try signs when she found out her neighbor was teaching sign language to her deaf dog.

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