This article investigates the roles that text modalities play in translation from written text into recorded signed language. While written literacy practices have a long history, practices involving recorded signed texts are only beginning to develop. In addition, the specific characteristics of source and target modes offer different potentials and limitations, causing challenges for translation between written and signed language. Drawing on an ideological model of literacy and a social-semiotic multimodality approach, this article presents findings of a qualitative case study analyzing one practitioner’s strategies translating an academic text from written English into British Sign Language. Data generated through interviews and text analysis reveal an event influenced by the affordances of the media and the translator’s consideration of source and target literacy practices.