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How do Sign Language Interpreters Increase Opportunity in a Weak Economy?

How do Sign Language Interpreters Increase Opportunity in a Weak Economy?

One of the main giving hands in the sign language interpreter economy is the scheduler of interpreting services for the local interpreting agency, university, or VRS company.  These daring individuals play an extremely important role in the livelihood of most … More

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Should Sign Language Interpreters Unionize?

Should Sign Language Interpreters Unionize?

In today’s economic downturns and upswings, representation in the labor market is paramount to the success of any profession.  The profession of sign language interpreting is no different.  Without understanding the influence unity bears, sign language interpreters all over the … More

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FCC VRS Reform Part II – Sign Language Interpreters File Public Comment

FCC VRS Reform Part II – Sign Language Interpreters File Public Comment

The charge of emotion sign language interpreters received at the hand of VRS Reform, while important in prompting us to action, can be detrimental if not checked when filing comment with the FCC. Though appreciative of the sign language interpreter … More

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How Sign Language Interpreters Survive a Professional Shakedown

How Sign Language Interpreters Survive a Professional Shakedown

You’re traveling along, like you do on any given day when suddenly you feel the muzzle of a gun pressed against the back of your head and hear, “give me your high rate of pay, all your premium workplace perks, … More

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Sign Language Interpreters and the Karma of Gratitude

Sign Language Interpreters and the Karma of Gratitude

Unemployment, wage reductions, and scant opportunity are just a few things that can describe the last year for sign language interpreters.  I believe it easy, given the industry turmoil, for interpreters to stumble into the trappings of ingratitude. Who could … More

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A Sign Language Interpreter is a Sidewalk-Executive?

A Sign Language Interpreter is a Sidewalk-Executive?

The sign language interpreting marketplace is peppered with interpreting companies big and small; some are uber successful and others not so much.  Let’s be honest, they are telling a similar story and selling nearly the same thing—whether it is Community … More

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The Goo at the Center of a Sign Language Interpreter

The Goo at the Center of a Sign Language Interpreter

If a sign language interpreter could reach inside and scoop out the goo that makes them who they are, a mixture of artistic judgment, emotional labor, and organic creativity would drip from their fingers.  This genuine house blend is the … More

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Why Not a Sign Language Interpreter Bill of Rights?

Why Not a Sign Language Interpreter Bill of Rights?

If you haven’t seen it, you soon will.  Due to economic pressures, businesses and individuals hiring interpreters are challenging (and attempting to redefine) our rates, standard practices, and national credentials. In my view, if we handle these challenges poorly we … More

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It’s Ugly, Uncomfortable and Can Damage Your Reputation

It’s Ugly, Uncomfortable and Can Damage Your Reputation

You know the drill… Smile. Make eye contact. Offer a reinforcing head nod. Appear confident and interested. As interpreters, we work hard to internalize the behaviors that help us appear approachable. This is a necessary and required skill in order … More

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Your Co-Interpreter Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up

Your Co-Interpreter Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up

While interpreting a short pro bono assignment over the weekend, I found myself working with an emerging interpreter.  As the meeting progressed—discussions grew more intense and participants became more interactive—I noted that both her confidence and effectiveness as an interpreter … More

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