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 began to unravel. I was as supportive of this young interpreter as the environment would

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Should the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Sue?

Is there any merit to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) litigating to advance the rights of sign language interpreters to reasonable working conditions and employment practices, and laws that defend their eligibility to work? Clearly, litigating has both a financial and a political cost and these costs should not be underestimated. As

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Woman with finger on lips

The Three Temptations of a Sign Language Interpreter

The dynamics of working as a sign language interpreter are complex and require that a person be comfortable operating in the unknown with limited information. As a result of navigating these complexities, we are accustom to owning the decisions—or choosing not to own them—that influence the value and outcome of our work. Unfortunately, with this

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Sign Language Interpreting—An Industry Past Feeling?

It is often said that the anonymity of living in a big city and the effort to avoid feeling imposed on by the crush of humanity, makes people hard and unfeeling. After all, it’s only in the big city that a person can be attacked 3 times in a 30 minute period—as 38 witnesses look

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What Characteristics Should the New RID Executive Director Have?

The removal of longtime Executive Director, Clay Nettles, on the eve of the 2011 RID National conference came as quite a surprise.  See the official information release here.  A change in leadership at the top of any organization has many considerations.  It is my hope that—in the end—both RID and Clay can find a mutually

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Are You an Artist or Just the Sign Language Interpreter?

You know them, the sign language interpreter “everyone loves, everyone wants to hire, and everyone wants to work with.”  Where do people with this perfect blend of supernatural skill and inviting personality come from?  Regardless of the answer, I believe we can agree that these amazing people exist in small numbers—only a handful per community. 

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Building a Business: Office Supplies are the Easy Part

Let me start by tipping my cap and offering my thanks to the longtime practitioners and business owners and operators that have together persevered to form and publicly legitimize what we know as—our profession.  As is the case with most worthwhile endeavors, forerunners likely experienced many quiet victories and public struggles and have sacrificed with

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Conference Interpreting: There Are Rules of Engagement?!

Don’t rush into a large conference with little more than the equivalent of a napkin with dates, times and room numbers scratched on it, and the attitude, “Hey, at least I’m here.  How bad can it be? It’s only a conference.”  By making the choice to approach your work in this setting with such little

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