In a time of budget cuts, civic unrest and uncertainty about your next week's paycheck, it was heart warming to receive a heartfelt e-mail from a RI RID member applauding his collegue. RI RID member, Jon Henry, was caught between a rock and a hard place while searching for a team to work with him the other day. He knew the meeting he was to interpret for was important, like all of our jobs, and he took it upon himself to reach out the interpreting community. With the help of the RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, notice went out to local interpreters. Another RI RID member, Robb Schmieggel was able to go the meeting and team for 3 hours, ensuring communication access for all members involved.
As freelance interpreters, we don't have a break room to meet in or a white board of encouraging memos to share moments like this. Jon's e-mail was a gentle reminder that we need each other to be successful. He also wrote the word "Thank/s" 9 times (he was very thankful!). Jon summed up the e-mail better than I could ever hope to express myself in a blog about RI interpreters...
"Thank you all, it's nice having an group of peers you can depend on and trust. RI should be proud of the interpreters we have in this small state. Talented, caring and supportive interpreters who are able to come together to work as a team to provide beautiful services for our whole community."
It was a thrilling moment on Saturday, August 14th at the RID Region I Conference in Albany, New York when the Awards Committee announced that RI RID had won the Best Website Award. Members in attendance applauded wildly as President Mary Ellen Breen proudly accepted the award on behalf of the membership. It was a big accomplishment for the organization and one we'll never forget!
Many thanks to RI RID's webmasters, Hayley Jamroz and Christine West. A special thanks to Dorothy Hodge and Tracy Silva for providing many of the professional quality photographs that grace the pages of the website. And thanks to the RI RID Board and all RI RID members for their continued support. We did it!
Congrats and thanks are also extended to the Region I Conference Audio Visual Committee- Rosa Norberg, Committee Chair and the following Committee Members: Mary Ellen Breen, Curtiss James, Yvette Johnson, Michele Neiley, Jonathan O'Dell (MA) and to Student Support Staffer, Alicia Babcock (RI). Without your efforts (and the equipment loaned from our generous partner organizations), the success of the Conference would not have been possible. Also, thanks to Rosa Norberg for her work in creating the gorgeous RI RID Basket for the Silent Auction and for all of the members who contributed so kindly to it. Hands waving RI RID!
Christine Harkins, CEO of Bridgemark, Inc. offered an all-day workshop for interpreters on working in the addiction recovery setting. We learned about the difference between use, abuse, dependency and addiction. We learned about the history of Behavioral Health, and the current recovery environment. This workshop was fun and insightful. I encourage all interpreters to sign up for up upcoming workshops that will be in the near future. -Sally Parsons
Thinking about becoming an interpreter? Many free lance interpreters step into the shoes of a variety of people day in and day out. One example of a young interpreter working in a performance based setting is seen on this season of So You Think You Can Dance, a reality show for novice dancers. Jarrell Robinson auditioned in Chicago, IL accompanied by Maxine Clarke. Although this video is not entirely captioned (my apologies), it does show a specific setting and great musical jargon. I hope this clip helps people who are considering becoming an interpreter see that there are endless possibilities for places to work, and each day can be more and more exciting.
In the wake of the recent RI flooding, we have seen local small business drown to death. Literally. Hundreds of small business owners lost much of their livelihood to historic flooding that shut down business and flooded homes. It made me stop to think of how fortunate we are as interpreters to make our living off of a set of skills rather than selling merchandise. We always talk about adding to our interpreter "tool belts", unlike other professions our tools can't rust or get washed away. Elizabeth Nadolski, an RI RID interpreter recently said, "We may not be getting the best hours, but we are still getting work." We have an incredible job of bridging communication and communities, a job that we cannot take for granted in times like these. As the rivers calmed and the Warwick Mall gets a make over, we will still be empty handed showing up for jobs. Our hands may be empty but our minds holding tight to our tool belts ready to build the bridge that sustains our profession.
Since RI doesn't have a state screening, RI interpreters-to-be have some choices to make on how to become a licensed interpreter. One could be state screened, maybe in Mass. I took the state screening in Illinois and thought it was time to take it to the next level. I sat for the performance portion of the NIC in early February. Like many other interpreters who are new to the field, everyday I wake up and think, "Today's the day I'll get my results, I'll be nationally certified!" But it's not the day. I feel like an adolecent anticipating the first day of Summer. The only difference is that my Summer doesn't have a definitive starting date. My Summer also isn't sent in an e-mail. Maybe Summer isn't the best comparision, but in any case, I'm excited to get my results. Legend has it that wait times for NIC results were up to a year. Legend also has it that wait times went down to less than a month. In the mean time, I cross my fingers everytime I get a new e-mail. It just makes me think about all of the other tests being processed at RID. Granted, not everyone passes the NIC. It is encouraging to think about all of the other interpreters who have degrees that are getting nationally certified right now. With every person that passes the test, the bar for our profession is raised just a little bit. I can wait a few more days or weeks as our profession grows. And yes, I'll worry that my work was sent to dozens of raters all around North America. For now, I'll blog.
A few days after writing my draft of this blog, I received my NIC results.
Want to get involved with the nomination process for RID's Region I conference? Below is an e-mail from Jackie Emmart inviting you to do so. CALL FOR RID REGION I AWARD NOMINATIONS
Region I Conference
August 13-15, 2010
Albany , NY
Conference Web sitehttp://www.vtrid.org/region1conf.htm
Trudy Gilbert: email@example.com
RID Region I Web page
Dear Interpreters and Interpreting Students of RID Region I:
Please take this opportunity to recognize interpreters and interpreter educators in Region I who have played a significant role in your communities or affiliate chapters, and/or in your own and others' professional development. The RID Region I Awards Committee is currently soliciting nominations for outstanding practitioners and teachers in the first two categories listed below. It has been eight years since Region I awards were last presented, and much important work has been accomplished in our field in Region I during that time. Don't let this opportunity pass by without extending some well-deserved recognition to our fellow members!
NOTE: The DEADLINE for nominations has been extended to MAY 1, 2010.
2010 Region I Conference
Call for Award Nominees
1- Outstanding Service Award
Awarded to a voting member who, during the course of her or his career, has contributed an outstanding level of service to the field.
Letters of nomination should include a detailed description of contributions to the field of interpreting, to RID/affiliate chapters, and/or to the Deaf community.
2- The Betsy Reifman Interpreter Educator Award
ElizaBeth (Betsy) M. Reifman (March 21,1953 - October 9, 2008) was a well-respected interpreting colleague and a leader who carried tremendous passion for learning, for the art of interpreting and for teaching others. She spent over 25 years of her career perfecting her interpreting and teaching skills. Betsy dedicated much of her time to creating learning opportunities for experienced and novice interpreters, particularly in the study of ethics and legal interpreting, bringing state of the art trainings to the northeast region. She was always a collaborator in all areas of her personal and professional life. No matter what interpreting assignment, project, leadership or teaching opportunity came her way, Betsy was always ready to listen, offer advice and support, as well as brighten any work with her positive personality, humor and grace. Even in the final weeks of her life, she was planning for an introductory legal interpreting workshop. Most of all, Betsy was loved and deeply respected by her family, interpreting colleagues, teachers, Deaf people, and students. Her exuberance for life, for the field of interpreting and for teaching will be missed the most. Yet, the legacy of her work and teaching will live on in the seeds she planted along the way.
This award will be granted to a voting member who has shaped the profession of interpreting by touching the lives of students, or other interpreters, in a significant way in the past four years (2006 - 2010). Letters of nomination should include a detailed description of contributions to students'/interpreters' learning, in any of the following ways: in the classroom, through formal and informal mentoring or teaching workshops, and/or through the administration of programs related to interpreting.
3- Best Web site Award
Awarded to an RID Affiliate Chapter in Region I for their incredible Web site, that represents their chapter in a professional, organized and visually appealing manner. Their Web site should provide effortless navigation and a great resource for interpreters, consumers and the general public via its content and links. The award will be chosen by a panel of judges well-versed in Web site design.
No nominations are necessary. All affiliate chapter's Web sites will be considered.
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2010
All submissions and any additional questions regarding nominations may be submitted to Lynette Reep at firstname.lastname@example.org. These submissions may be in a written or video format.
Please include the following information with your letter:
- Nominee's Name
- E-mail address
- Nominated By:
- E-mail address
Sending my best,
Jacqueline A. Emmart, M.S., NIC Advanced
Region I Representative
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
333 Commerce Street
Alexandria , VA 22314
617-733-8642 Direct (voice)
703-838-0030 RID National Office (voice)
Excellence Education Standards
Interpreters from all over the east coast traveled to Providence for TERPexpo this past weekend. As a new interpreter, I have a love/hate relationship with workshops. I love learning new information, I hate realizing I have a a long way to go. This love roller coaster didn't seem like such a long ride when a few presenters used an arts integrated approach to their topics. Peter Cook and Crom Saunders applied Acting I and improv lessons to teach interpreters how to better understand Characterization and describe the indescribable. Not only did we learn how to broaden our ASL skills, but there was a feeling of openness and acceptance amongst the group. I also noticed that the idea of "Yes, and...." can be useful with teaming. In improv, everyone needs to contribute ideas and accept ideas equally to keep the story flowing and funny. So if I was leading my group in one direction for an improv skit and another person took the lead, they would transition by accepting my story so far ("Yes"), then adding their own spin ("...and..."). I worked with Curtiss, another RI interpreter, to become an inanimate object with a personality. Our creation of an exhausted treadmill needed quite a few "Yes, and..." moments. We ended up creating a vivid relationship between a treadmill and an enthusiastic runner. I can see this technique working well with teaming. After all, it is two cast members sharing the same goal to keep the story flowing.