Sign Language Interpreters: The Importance of the Day Before

Dennis presented, Sign Language Interpreters: The Importance of the Day Before, at StreetLeverage – Live 2013 in Atlanta, GA. His talk encouraged sign language interpreters to consider that the secret to successful interpretations often rests on “One thing. Just one thing.” … More

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#Doable:  Creating Safe Spaces for Sign Language Interpreters

#Doable: Creating Safe Spaces for Sign Language Interpreters

Throughout my career as a sign language interpreter, I have been fortunate to have the most generous and giving mentors imaginable. I have always had a safe place to land when I needed support or professional advice and have always … More

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Identity Presentation: How Sign Language Interpreters Do It With Integrity

Identity Presentation: How Sign Language Interpreters Do It With Integrity

“Who are you? Where are you from?” These are seemingly simple questions. However, I find them incredibly complicated to answer, especially in the past the last few years. Part of my complication in answering has to do with where I currently … More

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Cooperation Strengthens Sign Language Interpreter Education Programs

Cooperation Strengthens Sign Language Interpreter Education Programs

From time to time I have heard it said that interpreter education programs are the new functional “gatekeepers” of the sign language interpreting profession. That is, with more interpreters learning ASL and interpreting in academic settings, rather than based on … More

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Tribal Communication: Evolving Expectations in the Field of Sign Language Interpreting

Tribal Communication: Evolving Expectations in the Field of Sign Language Interpreting

  San Francisco, 2007. My very first Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) national conference. I had been working in the field for two years and I was thrilled to be attending the national business meeting with my heroes … More

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Treachery: Why Sign Language Interpreters Don’t Correct Each Other’s Work

Treachery: Why Sign Language Interpreters Don’t Correct Each Other’s Work

As I submit this, some time has passed since the incident of the “fake interpreter” at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. While this was an event of historic proportions, it was not an event where the life, liberty or … More

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How Do Sign Language Interpreters Avoid Mentoring’s Dodgy Undertow?

How Do Sign Language Interpreters Avoid Mentoring’s Dodgy Undertow?

We have all had someone who “took us under their wing” at some point in our careers. These people that we say changed the trajectory of our careers and pulled us up by allowing us to stand on their shoulders. … More

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Mental Health Settings: Are Sign Language Interpreters at Risk?

Mental Health Settings: Are Sign Language Interpreters at Risk?

Friendlyville is a mid-sized city (population 85,000) in a Midwestern state with a Deaf (ASL) population of about 200.  Janice is one of the few RID certified sign language interpreters in Friendlyville. She is the child of Deaf parents, and … More

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Sign Language Interpreters and the Quest for Cultural Competence

Sign Language Interpreters and the Quest for Cultural Competence

I’ve been interpreting professionally for 25 years. I like to think I’m reasonably good at what I do but from time to time something will dawn on me about ASL or Deaf culture that I’ve never known or realized before. … More

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Nelson Mandela: Have Sign Language Interpreters Disappointed the World?

Nelson Mandela: Have Sign Language Interpreters Disappointed the World?

The terrible cocktail of “schizophrenia,” unethical business leadership and uninformed government decisions makers that lead to the sign language interpreting debacle at Mandela’s memorial service is a tragedy. As a sign language interpreter, I cringe at the thought that as … More

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