Interview with Pauline Wood

Amy: This is Pauline.

Pauline: Hello! Thank you for asking me to be here.

Amy: I’m excited you’re here.

Pauline: I feel honored.

Pauline: I’m more of a local chairperson. NAD is really the one in control and we work with them, adapting to their needs. LAD focuses more on manpower but at the same time, if NAD needs something, we will do what we can to help. We are flexible and try not to limit ourselves from doing what we can.

Amy: I see. Do you help get people to make this conference happen?

Pauline: Yes, yes, yes. We have a wonderful committee. A total of 29 people.

Amy: 29 people!? To make this conference a success?

Pauline: Yes, 29 people including me, sharing duties and working with the NAD to make this happen.

Amy: I’d like to ask you three questions. The first one: Being the local committee chairperson and planning the conference for years before plans were postponed because of Hurricane Katrina, and with your assertiveness to continue preparing for the conference, please share with us your experience in all of this.

Pauline: I love the NAD. Anyway, four years ago, we advertised to people about the conference, then this lady named Katrina visited the city. Completely devastated the city. My hometown was fine, though. The aftermath of the hurricane left me wondering about the NAD Conference, wondering if the conference could still go as planned. And because New Orleans is a touristy city, I thought the conference was still possible. However, the conference was moved to California and that disappointed me. It was decided that the location for 2006 and 2008 conferences would be switched, with that, I accepted. I figured it would give us a lot more time to plan for the conference. Now, looking back, I’m glad the locations were switched because New Orleans is in a much better condition than it was two years ago.

Amy: That means the second question has pretty much been answered. Your greatest accomplishment would have been better exposure of the area, correct?

Pauline: Yes, that’s true. People come up to me and tell me that they like New Orleans, that it is a nice city.

Amy: The third question is: Many people have asked me, what is the correct sign for your state, Louisiana? Please help us answer this! There seem to be differing opinions on this issue.

Pauline: Understood! I’ll be glad to answer your question. When I see people using the sign that indicates Louisiana as a sign for bowel movement, that disturbs me. The correct sign for Louisiana is using the abbreviation: L.A.

Amy: That means we all need to learn to use the sign L.A.

Pauline: Yes!

11 Responses to “Interview with Pauline Wood”

  1. Fairlady Says:

    Very good interview with Pauline Wood. Her husband was my history teacher. Her and her husband are very WELL known in the deaf community. I like those questions that Amy asked her. :)

  2. hedy Says:

    i recalled how the LA signed started through the mason-dixon tournament in 80’s. I was there. I have attended for 5 different deaf schools for 5 years. The 11 teams have been insulted each others by calling their signed state names. That’s how the signed state names spread all over.

  3. Steve Says:

    How many people have attened to NAD this week?

  4. RLM Says:

    Good interview with Pauline Woods!

    What is Pauline Woods’ background and past leadership postiton in Louisana?

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  5. RLM Says:

    Forgot to include the differenation of signs for Louisana and L.A.

    Deaf people really could tell the differences between Louisana and L.A. by hand movement.


  6. Anonymous Says:

    Nice interview.

    By the way it’s not L.A. It’s rather LA.

    L.A. refers to two words (e.g. Los Angeles) usually followed by state.


  7. Eliz from KS Says:

    Wow it is neat and I agree with sign language that we should say LA state and LA CAlif so they know what we talk about. I think that they use dirty word for LA that is not very nice.

  8. Anonymous Says:


    Different hand movement does not justify LA and L.A. having the same sign. That’s why we must refer to LA and L.A., Calif.

    The state of Washington shouldn’t be signed with “W” circling the shoulder because Washington wasn’t the boss of the state. It should be DC (city) and Washington (state) without reference to “Washington, DC” and “Washington State” Moreover, the state capitol city in Washington is not at all Washington.

    There needs to be some changes. CSD shouldn’t bully around taking over the CSD name from the then glorified deaf school now reduced in status to an ugly CSDF matching the ugly name of CDSR. Simply, than just that–CSD.

    The name sign of LV shouldn’t be signed in a way suggesting dices being tossed. You know the slight shaky sign. Come on! Only 2% of U.S. gambling takes place in Nevada.

    The Deaf needs to be properly trained to point stereotypical signs go away.


  9. Carl Schroeder Says:

    It was great to see Pauline Woods again! Pauline is an older sister of MJ Beinvenu, and I also had a great opportunity to meet her brother-in-law, David Woods, a Deaf leader in Salem, OR. It’s a small, small world, isn’t it?

  10. Carl Schroeder Says:


  11. David Burch Says:

    Good job ,Pauline! LA is the right sign! Good to see Pauline alive and well. She was AD during my hs years at LA SD. Go War Eagles!

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