Woman uses Love of Sign Language to Help Deaf Community

COVID-19 Local News

ZANESVILLE – Meet woman who is sign language interpreter at Joint Unified Command Meetings.

Alyson DeWitt is similar to signers who are seen during Governor DeWine’s press conferences. She interprets the words from the speakers at the podium for people who are hearing impaired.

Sign language was something that she developed an interest in from a very young age.

“I started learning when I was six. I don’t have any deaf people in my family. I didn’t know any deaf people. I just saw somebody using sign language when I was six, (I) went to the library, I got a book and started learning. Once I hit college, I decided I’m going to keep it up and I officially graduated in 2013 from Ohio University – Lancaster campus with my Associate’s degree in interpreting,” DeWitt said.

She’s happy to deliver news to the community but she admits she does feel some of the pressure each time she steps to the podium.

“It is nerve-wracking to be totally honest and I’m sure Dr. Butterfield feels the same way with being in front of the camera. I’m sure its nerve-wracking for a lot of people but then once the camera starts going and you get in the groove its not as scary and its not as terrifying and after doing this for several weeks, its just business as usual. I do really like to help the deaf community and this community. I very much enjoy all of the people here in Muskingum County,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt also said that being a sign language interpreter and helping deaf people is a very rewarding career and she compared it to an occupation like nursing or teaching.

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