Tag Archives: ASL interpreting

ASL Interpreter Appreciation

asl-interpreter-services-appreciation-01American Sign Language Interpreting is a profession like no other! Each day and each assignment is vastly different, offering the ability to learn and see things from a new perspective. This field attracts a certain type of individual with a deep passion for communication and developing relationships. But more than that: ASL interpreters must be gracious friends and fierce allies of the Deaf community that welcomes us into their lives.

Interpreters have the unique opportunity to share in a wide range of unscripted personal experiences. From job interviews to family reunions; from business meetings to parent teacher conferences, we are granted access to the lives of deaf consumers and this is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. These relationships are the human element of interpreting that assist in bridging the cultural gap.

asl-interpreter-services-appreciation-02In service to the Deaf community, ASL interpreters are invited into this diverse culture that has no racial, religious, or ethnic barriers. It is distinctly American, yet has its own heritage and set of social customs, such as the long-lasting phenomenon known as the “Deaf goodbye” or assigning people their Name Sign. Interpreters who can hear must be willing to become a minority within the Deaf community, we must be able to step back from our privilege to assume a new identity as mediator (or bridge) between the deaf and hearing worlds.

What inspires a person to become a sign language interpreter? Some are motivated by their deaf family members or friends. These people already use ASL and they have seen firsthand the prejudice and barriers that exist within our society. Others enter this field driven by their fascination with languages, cultures, and community. No matter what brings a person to this profession, we all share a common desire to assist in creating connections and uplifting the Deaf population. When we see effective communication happening, it’s a truly fulfilling experience.

asl-interpreter-services-appreciation-03ASL interpreting is a career that requires continuous growth, it attracts people who are prepared to engage in lifelong personal and professional development. As interpreters, there are such a wide variety of scenarios we can work in once we have the qualifications and experience.

Everyone has their own “specialty” area, “favorite” setting, and a type of situation they “would love to” interpret for. For example: my “specialty” is educational interpreting, having worked in a college environment for more than 6 years. My “favorite” setting is business interpreting, where I have the opportunity to assist in making connections within companies and organizations to ensure the deaf consumers’ success. And the scenario I “love to” interpret for is behind the scenes on film and television sets, here I get to help facilitate higher visibility for Deaf talent within the entertainment industry.

asl-interpreter-services-appreciation-05Taking on different roles allows interpreters to take a microscope to all these different parts of society. We are granted access to people’s everyday lives, and to be effective we must come to understand the situations that Deaf consumers find themselves in.

To create effective communication, a Business interpreter will endeavor to understand the ethics of the company and the power dynamics between each person involved. When working in a mental health setting, an interpreter must really have a thorough understanding of the healthcare profession and the patient, and they will take an active interest in the long term treatment plan for the individual. When providing ASL services for a play or musical, interpreters will immerse themselves in the piece, yes, but they also must come to know the character as portrayed by the performer. For religious ceremonies, interpreters are invited to take part in deeply held traditions, which requires reverence and respect. Interpreters who work family events play an important role in creating cherished memories– I’ve personally witnessed deeper connections and more meaningful relationships being formed within my own family thanks to the interpreters who join us for events and holidays. Interpreters who work in medical settings assume responsibility for accurately conveying critical, complex, and highly specialized information between deaf and hearing parties. This is why ongoing relationships between interpreters and consumers can be beneficial for everyone involved.

asl-interpreter-services-appreciation-06Besides offering ample opportunity for growth, sign language interpreting is a career that can take one all around the world. Deaf people travel for both work and enjoyment, and they often ask interpreters to help facilitate communication in these everyday situations. A business executive might bring a certain interpreter with them when they travel because they feel that person accurately represents them and their business. Interpreters who work for government officials are entrusted to faithfully maintain the personality of the deaf individual, and they get a rare insider perspective into the world of politics.

From weddings, to school plays, to kickboxing lessons; from births, to job promotions, to funerals— sign language interpreters stand beside the deaf community through life’s many ups and downs. I don’t think I am alone in believing that ASL interpreting is so much more than just a career. Between overnight emergency stays at the hospital with consumers, and the weekend-long professional development conferences, ASL interpreting becomes a way of life. Interpreter is an identity within Deaf culture, it is one that I wear proudly on Interpreter Appreciation Day (May 1) and every other day of the year!

Business Interpreting

asl-deaf-interpreting-agency-for-business-01Once you’ve hired a person who is deaf onto your staff, it’s important to provide the support they need to flourish at your company. Deaf employees offer their own unique perspectives and add strength to the overall team. By providing qualified ASL business interpreting, companies can give deaf employees the opportunity to contribute their skills and expertise to the workplace.

Picture yourself in a meeting with the company CEO, or at a staff training about new safety procedures: these are situations where communication is key! Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), organizations are required to provide deaf employees with reasonable accommodations, such as qualified interpreters, in situations like this where an interpreter appropriate. Business Interpreters possess a specialized skill set that allows them to effectively bridge the gap between deaf and hearing employees during presentations, lectures, meetings, staff development days, training sessions, and more!

Fluent in ASL and English Business Interpreting

asl-deaf-interpreter-for-business-02Business Interpreters understand that people take their careers very seriously, and that there is no room for miscommunication in a workplace environment. They are highly fluent in both American Sign Language and formal English. They are also able to accurately interpret common industry phrases, business lingo, and metaphors.

Business Background

business interpretingIt is important for Business Interpreters to feel comfortable in any size office or boardroom. A qualified interpreter will have experience within the business world and a thorough understanding of how the corporate structure works. Business Interpreters take the time to research each organization and come prepared with basic knowledge about their clients and consumers.

Professional Demeanor

When interpreting in a professional setting, a qualified Business Interpreter arrives with an appropriate attitude, level of respect, and clothing. The interpreter should know the roles of each party, and they are able to faithfully communicate messages in the same tone as the “speaker.” Business Interpreters want to contribute to the overall success of the deaf consumer and, thusly, the organization.

Cultural Educator

asl-deaf-interpreter-for-businesses-04In most businesses, deaf employees remain the minority, so other employees and managers might not know the best way to work collaboratively. A Business Interpreter can help fill those gaps in understanding. These interpreters will feel confident respectfully advocating for themselves or the deaf consumers if they feel they need to sit or stand in a specific spot to be most effective. They work to make the interaction smooth and successful for everyone involved.

LC Interpreting Service is pleased to provide qualified Business Interpreters in the Greater New York City area to meet a wide variety of business and corporate needs. We make the process for securing interpreters and providing equal access as simple as possible.

We also offer Cultural Competency Training. Learn how to hire, accommodate, and get the most out of working with deaf employees! Discover the many ways to meet the needs of deaf clients or customers. Contact LCIS today about cultural competency training for your business.

STEM Interpreting

technical-interpreting-deaf-nyc-metro-nj-01Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses prove challenging for much of the general population. Yet talented deaf individuals continue to flood these growing fields. People who are deaf can absolutely excel in STEM careers when they are able to access opportunities in the classroom and the workplace.

For those who use ASL as their primary form of communication, a qualified Technical Interpreter is often the best accommodation during lectures, trainings, meetings, seminars, conferences, or consultations. Qualified Technical Interpreters will possess a specific skill set which enables them to facilitate communication regarding sophisticated technical topics. They have the ability to provide interpreting services in specialized fields which often have their own unique vocabulary and culture.

Linguistically Fluent

technical-interpreting-deaf-nyc-metro-nj-02Those who provide technical or scientific interpreting services must have a proven background in both spoken and signed languages, including individuals who have heavy spoken accents. Qualified Technical Interpreters will understand how specific terms fit into context, and are able to accurately convey abstract concepts. Deaf individuals in the STEM fields have varying levels of education and experience, and they might prefer different communication modalities, such as PSE (Pidgin Sign English). These interpreters are expected to be linguistically fluent and culturally competent to stay on the consumer’s level.

Familiar with Field of Study

technical-interpreting-deaf-nyc-metro-nj-03Whether they are interpreting a biology lecture, a tech conference, or an architectural meeting, qualified Technical Interpreters come prepared with a general knowledge about the particular field they will be working in. This knowledge provides interpreters the foundation they need to further the  Technical Interpreters might have experience, specialized training, or a true passion for a specific area of study. Ultimately, deaf consumers are better served by interpreters who are interested in the work they do.

Specialized Vocabulary

The many STEM disciplines all come with their own vocabulary, and some of these terms do not have an ASL translation. Scientific and technical terminology can be complex and difficult for laypeople to understand. Qualified Technical Interpreters learn the jargon and common concepts within a profession, which helps them better facilitate communication. They also keep up to date on emerging vocabulary within the field.

Collaborative

Interpreters who work in technical and scientific environments must prepare as much as possible in advance, but often they end up learning quite a bit during the assignment. In these fields, a qualified Technical Interpreter will defer to the knowledge and preferences of the deaf consumer. Interpreters should be open to gaining greater understanding of the topics they interpret, certain professional protocol, and be able to apply this knowledge in future assignments.

Educator

technical-interpreting-deaf-nyc-metro-nj-04Interpreters might not be needed on a daily basis, but for lectures, group meetings, or professional development events, a high quality Technical Interpreter is most likely the best accommodation for people who are deaf. These interpreters will work with deaf consumers to educate hearing entities about creating equal access and providing adequate opportunities.
A qualified Technical Interpreter knows their limitations and only accepts jobs which match their skills, experience, and capabilities. These interpreters will explain to hiring entities why another interpreter would be a better fit, advocating for the use of Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) wherever appropriate.

Continuous Professional Development

technical-interpreting-deaf-nyc-metro-westchester-nj-05Because the STEM fields are rapidly evolving, with new technologies and methodologies emerging each day, it is imperative that Technical Interpreters keep up to date on best practice. Their technical and vocabulary knowledge must be current, and they will continuously consult other interpreters working within their discipline.

LC Interpreting Service is pleased to offer Technical Interpreting services in the NYC Metropolitan and Westchester area, as well as nearby New Jersey. Our highly qualified ASL interpreters are focused on accuracy and consumer satisfaction. For consumers who prefer Transcription Services we also offer speech to text services for meetings, lectures, and more. LCIS makes the process of securing appropriate accommodations as simple as possible from start to finish.

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Resources:

http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1023&context=theses
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/science/sign-language-researchers-broaden-science-lexicon.html?_r=1
http://www.alsglobal.net/city/los-angeles/technical-interpreters/american-sign-language.php