You’ve probably noticed the lively, energetic deaf interpreter for the governor and mayor’s news conferences. Conveying vital information, during an uncertain time. “I realize how critical it is for the New Mexico deaf community to receive information and have access to that,” says Nixo Lanning.
Deaf interpreter Lanning has become an overnight sensation for her dynamic delivery. “The facial expressions reflect grammar. They also reflect vocal intonation because deaf people can’t hear that, so it shows mood and emotion through expression,” Lanning says.
The California native spent two years working at the New Mexico School for the Deaf. Then she got her master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 2014, after that she pursued a new dream. “It’s a really long process to become a qualified interpreter. It’s time-consuming but it’s worth it,” Lanning says.
Once she was certified, the 36-year-old started interpreting in classrooms and courtrooms. She says the coronavirus outbreak gave her career a new meaning. “I just strive to provide clear information but it does, it’s heavy, it’s a big responsibility,” Lanning says.
She hopes her work brings comfort, during a scary time. “Instead of seeing a rotating line of characters and interpreters they’re seeing a consistent style and message and I think it helps people feel secure and I’m happy to be able to provide that,” Lanning says.
Lanning says she’s just one of a handful of deaf interpreters in the state.