With the help from my family (we are on vacation exploring Maine, by the way), we decided to work on transcribing the online video from The Bangor Daily News tonight rather than waiting. Please be aware that it is the work of the Lepore Family, not the Bangor Daily News. Here is the transcript below:
The Bangor Daily News online video – Transcript (3 minutes 25 seconds long) Both voice-overs and American Sign Language are being used in the video.
Main Interviewees: Roger “Adventurous Cane” Poulin and Roni “RamSham” Lepore
Please note if the words are within parenthesis is the words of the interpreters, not interviewees.
Roger: I had wanted to hike the AT for 3 reasons. The first is to prove to myself that I could do it. As a Deaf person and as a blind person, see if I could find that success. And the other reason, is that when I was a young child, I had so many big barriers in my life, that many people keep telling me that I couldn’t do things, and I really took that on. Because of my vision, I couldn’t do things, I wanted to really let go of that and show people that I could do. I also wanted to prove to the DeafBlind community that they could do something like this. You don’t have to just sit at home all day, you could go out and really adventure.
Roni: We started this journey in 2010 and so with my experience as a Deaf hiker who worked with hearing and Deaf hikers, and as a SSP, and with the experience of working with people who are DeafBlind which gave me a special perspective, I thought this would be a great opportunity to work with a DeafBlind hiker. And so I felt really inspired to have this opportunity with Roger.
The edge of the rock, this is what I would use to show either this is a steep edge (cliff) on the right side or the left side of where we were walking. I would warn him that the trail was going to get narrow, and that you could fall, or if there was a someplace that he would have to be careful checking for the depth over a rocky path because he would not know how steep some steps would be. That before stepping down or (making a big leap, or a jump) I would warn him of that, or to show him that “you need to use your poles (cane) to sort of pull ahead to see or feel what is there”. If it was raining and there was smooth rock up ahead I would warn him of that because of its slippery when wet, and this is the sign for that smooth rock.
Roger: So from Georgia to Pennsylvania, I was not using a helmet, and I ended up falling on this really sharp rock, so I actually hit the crown of my head, popped open and bleeding, everywhere. I mean, I had blood all over me, but I was not in pain (and I was in serious pain) at that point. I got four stitches, and I decided I would buy a helmet at the point and I would wear it for the rest of the adventure.
The first day in Georgia when I was thinking about what it would be like when I got to the end and when I was done with this journey I couldn’t have vision that really. I couldn’t believe that I made it. There was so many times I wanted to quit. But, I persevered and finished. The moment at the top was really an overwhelmingly emotional end.
(1:00) The video only gave Roger’s 2 reasons. His third reason was SSP – Support Service Provider – is very important to the DeafBlind community.
(1:00) Name Tag: Roni Lepore – Support Service Provider
BDN Video Credit:
Video by Brian Feulner
Trail footage by registered Maine guide David Whitney
Interpreting by Sarah Littlefield and Debbie Meyers
Transcribers: Kaylee Lepore, Christine Lepore, Roni “RamSham” Lepore