Sign language opens lines of communication

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GREENFIELD — On a recent afternoon at Harris Elementary, Andrea Espich stood in front of a crowded gymnasium, swaying to the music booming from a nearby loudspeaker. With a rhythmic sweep of her hands, she signed the words to an upbeat pop song as she waited for the convocation to start.

Whether Espich is interpreting in class or at a special program like the one that afternoon, her presence goes largely unnoticed by the majority of students. They’re used to her being there like any teacher, after all, and Espich is something of an expert at blending in.

But for the deaf and hard of hearing, an educational interpreter is their connection to a world they would not otherwise fully understand.

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