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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Sign Language Interpreters: How to Avoid Being Abandoned at the Microphone

Sign Language Interpreters: How to Avoid Being Abandoned at the Microphone

I am facing a panel of 6 people in front of an audience of 200 attendees. The event is about to commence. I have a lone microphone in my hand and an empty chair beside me. As I settle into … More

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Has An Identity Crisis Immobilized The Field of Sign Language Interpreting?

Has An Identity Crisis Immobilized The Field of Sign Language Interpreting?

During my attendance at the 2012 Region IV RID Conference in Denver and the 2013 National RID Conference in Indianapolis I found myself in tears more than once. While it is not uncommon for me to become emotional when I … More

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5 Surefire Steps to Overcoming Skill Plateau For Sign Language Interpreters

5 Surefire Steps to Overcoming Skill Plateau For Sign Language Interpreters

Perhaps you have decades of sign language interpreting experience, have been to countless workshops and trainings on skill development, yet feel that you have hit a plateau in your skills. You may notice obvious erroneous patterns in your work. For … More

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Why Do Qualified Sign Language Interpreters Get Less Work?

Why Do Qualified Sign Language Interpreters Get Less Work?

In a recent conversation with Tom Holcomb about certified vs. qualified sign language interpreters, he said something that surprised me. He shared that approximately 90% of the interpreters referred to work with him outside of his professional faculty position and … More

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#Doable: How Sign Language Interpreters Restore Relationships With The Deaf Community

#Doable: How Sign Language Interpreters Restore Relationships With The Deaf Community

I was privileged enough to serve as a full-time conference interpreter at the 2013 RID Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was, as always, thrilled to have the opportunity to work with incredible colleagues, meet new people, and reconnect with old … More

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K-12: A Call to Arms for Sign Language Interpreter Training Programs

K-12: A Call to Arms for Sign Language Interpreter Training Programs

K-12 interpreting* has been around for quite some time, at least since the precursor of today’s IDEA was passed in 1975.  In the earlier years after this law was passed, we saw the development of what were called “self-contained classrooms,” … More

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Betty Colonomos | Sign Language Interpreters Fostering Integrity

Betty presented, Sign Language Interpreters Fostering Integrity, at StreetLeverage – Live 2013 | Atlanta. Her talk explored how sign language interpreters operate with integrity and the professional measures needed ensure the highest standards are in fact upheld. You can find the … More

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The Five Step Path to Resiliency for Sign Language Interpreters

The Five Step Path to Resiliency for Sign Language Interpreters

One of the strengths of our community of practice is our diversity of thought, background, and belief systems – it is also is what poses the greatest challenge when we come together to create positive change. The potential outcome in … More

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