RID Increases Dues: An Interview with President Brenda Walker-Prudhom

Brandon ArthurBrandon Arthur interviews the President of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), Brenda Walker-Prudhom, on the increase in dues and fees announced on March 30, 2012.

In the interview Brenda reiterates the 4 driving priorities of RID, the reasoning behind the priorities, and how she and the Board plan to develop greater transparency throughout the organization.

RID Priorities

  1. Search for Executive Director
  2. Certification of NIC, CDI, SC:L and Oral
  3. Technology in the delivery of certification tests and communication
  4. Relationships with Stake holders, affiliate chapters and members

Notable Quotes by Brenda

“As we got together we realized we had a strategic plan, but that we needed to examine and determine our priorities..”

“One thing that I want the members to realize is that, yes, the $260,000 deficit is significant but some of that is a result of unexpected things like the fraud that was discovered and the budget necessary in order to investigate and make it right..”

“What makes it appear so significant is the CMP fees and EPS fees which haven’t been increased since their inception. So, we are talking about 15 to 20 years of the same fees for those two programs.”

“..the Board knows and is confident that they [National Office Staff] are working in our best interests to prevent a deficit and restore our finances for the future.”

“..what I saw was the management or mismanagement of funds, it’s really not mismanagement at all. It’s attempting to manage through years of constrained resources to support the membership’s needs, wants, and desires..”

“I would request that members recognize that we are a huge organization of diverse members with diverse needs. As much as we want to please all of them daily, we have to budget and we have to plan…”

[Speaking of outsourcing certification testing] “As of right now, I don’t see that going away or giving it to another organization to run. As President, I don’t see that happening any time soon. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

“I am hoping the members will see that we want each member to have a complete picture of RID.”

 

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About the Author

Brandon is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and passionate industry entrepreneur. He has worked on both the practicing and business sides of the industry for the past 15 years. His father is deaf and his mother is a sign language interpreter. He is a devoted father and husband and enjoys the sport of triathlon.

5 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Mala says:

    Brandon, appreciate the format of this post, and the information provided. Many of our members will be asking questions about this, and rather than answering myself, I can point them here.

    Thanks for making it interesting.

  2. PJ says:

    I appreciate this as well. Thank you both for taking the time and utilizing technology to make this possible…and in such a personal way! It really is good to get a better picture of why these decisions were made.

    As we move forward, one concern I have is how we determine what “wants and desires” are added to the plate, and thereby draw from the funding. It’s relatively easy to determine what is needed,and I don’t think any member has a problem with paying the necessary dues to keep the needed aspects of RID in place. What concerns me is that “wants and desires” could be endless. How do we determine which ones merit the spending of funds? If we don’t have a way to keep control of that, the dues will climb exponentially to try to keep up with the spending.

    Thanks again for sharing this information!

    • PJ,

      Thanks for commenting.

      I believe it is Brenda’s intention to initially sort out the “wants and desires” through member feedback at regional conferences and direct feedback to the Board. With that said, I do appreciate your concern about how that will take place as we move forward. While the list could certainly be endless, I believe it is the motivation of the current Board to restore the fiscal footing of the organization and create the necessary reserves to ensure we are financially prepared to address the “wants and desires” of the membership moving forward.

      B

  3. William L. says:

    The way I see it, RID could run up all the rates across the board, with or without merit and all the interpreters will still shell out money for it. In short, the RID has successfully lobbied states to create laws that require RID certification, bar none. This is what we would call, a monopoly. Although the RID has published position papers and recommends certain guidelines for interpreting venues, there is not a voice for the interpreter in the workplace. VRS interpreters especially are worked long and consistently hard and educational interpreters are paid extremely low wages. I think a lot of interpreters are beginning to agree, that a union is required.

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