Sign Language Interpreters: Attire Leaves a First & Lasting Impression

August 2, 2014

We only get one chance to make a first impression. This article explores how interpreter’s attire choices are more than just a reflection of themselves, and provides one question every interpreter should ask before stepping out the door.

Do you mind your ABCs (Appearance, Behavior, and Communication) as you prepare for every assignment? Can you think of an interpreter who has professionally mastered her or his ABCs and the impact that mastery has had on the Deaf community members with whom that interpreter has worked? What about an interpreter who exhibits what are referred to as Toxic Traits?1 These may include a “way of being” that drains the energy in the room, dandruff, bad breath or body odor, hair dyed unnatural colors, cleaning teeth or biting nails in public, entering a room with more bags than your local grocer, loud makeup, dangling or sparkly accessories, wrinkled clothing, bright nails or French manicures, worn out shoes, and/or an appearance that is inappropriate for the given environment. Dare we say that every practitioner out there has a Toxic Trait story to recall? This begs the question: did you say something to the Toxic Trait offender?

[View post in ASL]

We have been conditioned over the years to believe that someone else will handle it: our team will tell us if we cross the line ethically, Deaf people will tell us if they don’t like our clothing or accessories, and RID will manage ethics and punitive measures.  Someone else will tell me if my appearance disempowers the Deaf person(s) in the room.  What if you’re that “someone else”?  Consider this a call to action, to collectively shift our culture to one of appearance accountability: both for ourselves and for one another.

The impetus for this article comes from nationwide conversations with consumers and colleagues.  In 2012, we gave a presentation to 70+ ASL interpreters, designed in response to the trend of interpreters’ appearance and attire selections reflecting poorly upon the Deaf community.  We believe this topic isn’t being taken seriously enough given the consequences it carries. Our hope is that by the end of this article, you’ll understand how the inappropriate appearance choices of sign language interpreters serve to further oppress Deaf people, potentially limiting their workforce participation and mobility.

Why First Impressions Are So Important

It’s no secret that outside of our community, the field of sign language interpreting is not yet fully accepted as a legitimate profession.  We struggle for consistency and predictability in our national testing system, our business practices vary from one practitioner to the next, our ethical code prescribes behaviors instead of enumerating bedrock principles, etc. How many times have you been asked whether or not you’re the Deaf patient/candidate/employee’s relative?  Like it or not, the non-deaf majority sees us more as an extension of Deaf people than as professionals performing a cognitively complex task.

When we presented in 2012, we sought testimonials and perspectives from Deaf consumers and our colleagues to share.  We find what Dennis Cokely had to offer particularly poignant:

“It is certainly undeniable that society in general has become much more casual in dress and “casual Fridays” have, like a virus, crept into the rest of the work week.  I think this has given many interpreters “permission” to dress and act much more casually than I think they should. … The fact of the matter is that interpreters are definitely seen by society at large as aligned with Deaf people and present to help Deaf people; this despite our assertions that we are “neutral” and are there to serve both parties.  Society in general certainly believes that it is Deaf people who need interpreters, not the hearing bankers, lawyers, doctors, sales clerks, teachers, counselors and wait staff Deaf people are interacting with.  Society in general judges Deaf people by the company they keep – and that company is US!!!!”

In 2012, Anna Witter-Merithew shared this perspective in a StreetLeverage.com post (note Anna’s comment on January 18, 2012 at 12:16am): “How we dress does impact on how we are perceived AND how deaf people are perceived. …Dressing according to the system norms is one way to improve how we are perceived in that system.”2  It is fair to say, from Anna and Dennis’ thoughts, from empirical research about impressions, and from our collective observations, that our appearance and behavioral decisions reflect upon Deaf people, for better or worse.

Research tells us that “others immediately form stereotypical associations about you that are frequently emotionally based, and that once those impressions are formed, others’ rational and emotional brains seek to validate those impressions.”3  Studies show that you have as few as six seconds4 when you meet someone to create a lasting impression.  This impression will impact their relationship with you and, more importantly, with the Deaf individual for whose interview/appointment/etc. you’re booked to interpret.  “After the fact, it’s easy for someone to tell whether you are a rarity who actually tends to every detail.  But before you get the opportunity to prove yourself, people will have to draw that conclusion from the way you look, [communicate], and act.  If your hair isn’t combed, your clothes aren’t neat, your shoes aren’t shined and you don’t [communicate] in a logical and orderly fashion, why should they assume your work will reflect any greater care?”5  If they are making these judgments about our work, and our work is Deaf people’s lives, then what reflection does that cast and what’s the ripple effect?

Judging a Book By its Cover

There are countless studies done by business, law, and medical schools across the country about the impact of attire on the customer, client, and patient’s perception of the respective professional’s expertise.  In one healthcare study, respondents were shown to overwhelmingly favor physicians in professional attire with a white coat.  Wearing professional dress while providing patient care by physicians may favorably influence trust and confidence-building in the medical encounter.6  In the legal field, the impact of appearance has long been taken seriously and there are consequences when one fails to satisfy the expectation.  “Certainly by becoming a member of the bar, a lawyer does not terminate his membership in the human race, nor does he surrender constitutional rights possessed by private citizens. … However ‘[membership] in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions.’”7  We believe that the nature of our work and invitation into the lives of Deaf people is also a privilege burdened with conditions, including that of adjusting one’s appearance to suit the environment.

We are not suggesting sign language interpreters wear physicians’ white coats to their assignments in healthcare.  What we are suggesting is that working in the interpreting profession, your casual attire may not impact your future success.  Instead, it is more likely that it would impact opportunities for success for the Deaf people with whom we work.  When we’re invited into the lives of Deaf people, we are guests and we should treat those experiences as such.  To dress down as a default undermines the very respect we purport to uphold.

So What? Why This Matters

When was the last time your attire choices could have impacted whether or not the Deaf candidate got the job?  Will you ever know for sure?  Has your desire to express your personality ever overshadowed the Deaf researcher’s presentation to her or his non-deaf colleagues?  How do you know if the way you entered the room impacted the energy – did you add to the tension in the business negotiation?  Or if the Social Security worker thought differently about the Deaf applicant when your colleague wore jeans and boots to the appointment?  How many times has your (or your colleague’s) appearance been a distraction, a deterrent or a detriment?

We will never know the impact of our decisions with certainty… until we ask with an open mind.  In our research, we received numerous counts of impact from Deaf community members.  Once we started asking, the stories were virtually never-ending.  Below is a handful of what was shared.

  1. On a doctor’s impression of this Deaf parent: “I was recently at a doctor’s appointment for my daughter.  The interpreter walked in with a loud, low-cut top.  She had long nails and WILD hair…I had to keep asking her to repeat whatever she said – I was severely distracted by the amount of skin she showed.  I wonder what the doctor thought of me, having to ask her to repeat herself so many times…”
  2. A Deaf professional and her/his strategy for requests: “I mostly prefer that interpreters look neat and well put together…there have been occasions when I am in a situation where impressions are important and I will not use certain interpreters because their attire/presentation CAN impact the perception of me and my expertise.”
  3. On accessories, from a Deaf instructor: “It’s very rare for me to make an issue of their clothing choice of the day, but if it really irks me, I would approach the interpreter after the interpreting job is finished.  I can’t make the interpreter to go back home and change; it’s rather late and so I must accept the choice of clothing.  But with accessories, I can ask.”
  4. From a Deaf professional: “I was invited to serve on a panel and dressed in a suit and high heels, as did the other panelists.  My interpreter showed up in shorts, late, standing her tennis racket on the side of the panel table while she interpreted.  I was so embarrassed…”
  5. On the desire to express oneself: “You want to wear a tongue ring, lip ring, nose ring, etc.?  Take it out, go to the job, and then when you’re done, put it back in.  Draw the most attention to your work, not yourself.  It may bug the hell out of you because you want to express yourself, but you’re hired to work for a situation, and you don’t make the rules.”
  6. On trying to open the conversation: “Once an interpreter showed up wearing a low-cut dress and when I asked her about her choice she responded with an attitude that I wasn’t the one hiring her.  I asked her if they found out, what she’d do without them and she replied that she’d just find another job.  Then I asked her what she’d do without me, and she was suddenly at a loss for words.”

These behaviors are noticed by interpreter coordinators as well.  Here are a couple of their thoughts:

  1. “I am careful about who I do and do not hire to work in certain situations, based on what I know certain interpreters to wear.  My clients cannot afford to have the interpreter draw positive or negative attention – the work is too sensitive to allow for inappropriate first impressions.”
  2. “I have had people show up to an assignment in t-shirts and jeans and it MUST be addressed.   Sadly, I now have a clause in my booking email: ‘All assignments are considered business register, please dress professionally.’”

What do these behaviors say about our respect for consumers and their lives, our profession, and ourselves?  What does it say that interpreter coordinators need to manage our attire choices?  And so we ask, when is the last time you asked, with an open-mind, your team and/or the Deaf individual(s) about your appearance or attire choices?

Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s time for change.  We do not believe sign language interpreters need to revert to the CSUN smock days.8  We believe that regardless of our attire choices, most interpreters share the same goal of rendering excellent interpreting services that provide communication access for people who do not share a common language.  We also believe that we have allowed ourselves to become complacent when it comes to holding one another and ourselves accountable.

Matt Etemad-Gilbertson wrote an article entitled, “Polite Disregard – Does It Serve Us?” which was originally published in a VRS newsletter.  In it, he eloquently paints the picture of our current state of affairs, which we believe is still relevant today.

“It has been my experience that the interpreting community is filled with caring professional nurturing, thoughtful mentorship and amazingly talented and ethical practitioners of our shared work…it has also been my experience that “polite disregard” rules the day among us on many occasions…  Polite disregard is the fear of not knowing how to share what we’ve seen or heard in the work.  Polite disregard is that moment during or post assignment when our team turns and says “any feedback for me?”  Polite disregard is when you actually have noticed a troubling pattern that you’d like to point out but it’s too hard to say.  In a practice-based profession like interpreting, polite disregard inhibits us from having difficult conversations that ultimately serve to compromise the integrity of the work.”

The only way we will get from where we are, in a state of complacency, to where we would like to shift the field, is by insisting on a culture of mutual accountability where dressing appropriately is the norm.  We need to stop dancing around conversations and collectively commit to embodying a “way of being” that subtly blends in with interpreted encounters, regardless of our personal preferences.  It’s time to step up and ask the hard questions of ourselves first, and then of one another that keep us all accountable.  We propose that before every assignment, sign language interpreters ask themselves:

Do my attire and overall appearance reflect my commitment to appropriately represent the Deaf people with whom I will work, and the environment in which I will work?

If the answer to either of those questions is uncertain, or a clear “no,” then it’s time to go home and change before stepping foot into the lives of Deaf people.  After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

 

References

Dimitrius, J. E. and Mazzarella, M. (2000) Put Your Best Foot Forward: Make a Great Impression by Taking Control of How Others See You. New York, NY: Fireside.

2 Witter-Merithew, Anna. (January 18, 2012). Response to Sign Language Interpreters: Stepping out of the Shadow of Invisibility. Retrieved from http://www.streetleverage.com/2012/01/sign-language-interpreters-stepping-out-of-the-shadow-of-invisibility/#comments (comment from January 18, 2012 at 12:16am)

3 Dimitrius, J. E. and Mazzarella, M. (2000). Put Your Best Foot Forward: Make a Great Impression by Taking Control of How Others See You. New York, NY: Fireside. p.76.

4 Winerman, Lea. (March 2005). ‘Thin slices’ of life. Monitor on Psychology, volume 36. Retrieved from  http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar05/slices.aspx

5 Dimitrius, J. E. & Mazzarella, M. (2000). Put Your Best Foot Forward: Make a Great Impression by Taking Control of How Others See You. New York, NY: Fireside. p.62.

6 Gosling, R. & Standen, R. (1998). Doctors’ dress. British Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 188-189.

7 Keasler, J. (1974, July 31). Tied to be fit? The Miami Newspaper. Retrieved from: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2206&dat=19740731&id=ZdglAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2vMFAAAAIBAJ&pg=847,5108664


8 Solomon, S. (1987, February 26). Deaf Students Follow the Signs in CSUN Classes. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-02-26/news/vw-6030_1_deaf-student

 

BIO

Lena Dumont, Matt Etemad-Gilbertson,  Laura O’Callahan, Kristy Moroney, Jackie Emmart, Will English, and SooJin Chu are the team who created the original First and Lasting Impressions presentation, shared with the Greater Boston community in March 2012. Together, the first six represent 85 years of interpreting experience, and work or have worked in many arenas of the interpreting world including, but not limited to: general community,  K-12 and post-secondary education, healthcare, VRS, business, government, and conferences. SooJin is an independent fashion consultant and an expert in successful dressing that fosters positive first and lasting impressions. They all strongly believe that tailoring an interpreter’s appearance and behavior to a given situation is not only possible, it is essential.

The authors wish to extend their sincere gratitude to Carol-lee Aquiline, for her time and energy invested in the translation of this article. Thank you, Carol-lee!

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105 Comments on "Sign Language Interpreters: Attire Leaves a First & Lasting Impression"

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Member

Great discussion! I’m of the opinion that professionals know that on the job is not the place to express themselves. I don’t take jobs for which I’m not qualified, despite being certified at a level that says I am, and I don’t take jobs that require attire that I’m not interested in wearing. I also have a lot of tattoos, some large, and I cover them when I’m working.
As an aside– just because we work in language, ha– “begs the question” refers to circular reasoning; it does not mean “raises the question.” Just FYI. 🙂

Member

I’m so glad to have read this article and to be able to discuss this topic with other professionals! The answer to the question what to do if you team is dressed inappropriately wasn’t clearly answered for me. I have been encouraged to lead by example stay positive but not say anything! I’m confused especially as a new interpreter in the field. Any advice? Suggestions?

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Great question, Christa! I don’t know that there’s any one response that would work for all situations. Instead, just like with everything else we do, I’d say “it depends.” However, if you’re honest, direct, and compassionate, it’s bound to be more a conversation than a confrontation, which will ultimately lead to more successful results. When we dance around the issue, we make it more complex and subjective than it needs to be. It could be as simple as, “It looks like no one else here is showing their shoulders. Do you have a sweater in your car/bag to wear over… Read more »
Member
Melanie H. Vansell, M.A.
Like so many of you, I too, am grateful for this article, bringing attention to this very significant issues, and for being able to respond. As is so common in today’s fast paced world, the “golden rule” is often ignored. I like to think that I have not forgotten this rule. Personally, I feel it is important, in any situation, to treat others as we would like to be treated. I recently retired from full-time professorship. I have taught ASL and history for many years. During that time, I have continued to interpret. Fortunately, I will continue in the interpreting… Read more »
Member

Business attire does not always mean that the default color must be BLACK!! Just don’t wear all of the colors of the rainbow at one time!!!! I thank you for expressing that this is something we bring in from our personal lives. Frankly, I have perhaps five shirts with any kinds of pattern on them. There was a time when you would be escorted from the theater, symphony hall or restaurants if you wore blue jeans. Too bad we do not have ushers for every interpreted event!

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Kevin, Thanks so much for your reply! Certainly there is a range of contrasting colors that will work for our various skin tones. If people are unsure about what that range looks like, this is where we encourage asking Deaf consumers and colleagues for their perspectives (keeping in mind that if you’re someone who tends to have a dark tan in the summer, your range of contrast may vary from season to season). As for owning articles of clothing with patterned prints, we’re all for folks expressing themselves…when they’re *not* interpreting. So while five shirts may work for you, we… Read more »
Member

Wanted to add…in climates that are hot/cold…you can wear your sleeveless top (not OK for court) in the hot car, then put on the blazer for the courthouse, then whip it off for the drive back home. ;o)

Member
Bonnie Garkow

I do this, especially in the summer. I have multiple tattoos and try to keep them all as hidden as possible, but it does get hot. I just keep cool in the car and put on longer sleeves when I step out. I also make sure my tongue piercing is removed so it’s not a distraction.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you for your post, Bonnie! Over the past two years, we’ve received comments from some folks with tongue piercings who say that they can’t remove them because the holes will close by the time their jobs are over. We appreciate you shedding a little light on the subject, to share another perspective.

Member
Hi Kevin and all~ I keep a couple of black fitted blazers and sweater cover-ups in my car along with black shoes so that if I need to interpret last minute or forget and walk out the house with my slippers on I have back up attire that can go over my clothes. I am using more color and pattern in my tops and then putting the professional jacket over it so it works in the courtroom/hospital. Also I try to keep the “closed toe” shoes on for all courtroom and medical (Dr. offices don’t want you stuck with a… Read more »
Member
That is such a great idea. I freelance very part time. Recently, I happened to be shopping in a clothing store far from home when I was contacted to interpret an emergency situation at a nearby hospital. I happened to be wearing a decent pair of pants and a black t-shirt. But, my ratty garden sandles and braless state was much too casual for the situation. I whipped out my credit card, snatched a black over shirt from the clearance rack and a pair of cheap black pumps and arrived at the hospital in record time with at least a… Read more »
Member
Lindsey Antle

Bravo. Thanks for the article.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

And thank you, Lindsey, for taking the time to post!

amindess
Member
Anna Mindess
Thank you for this thought provoking article. I work mostly in court and have followed my legal training which counseled that interpreters need to look like professionals to earn the respect of the other professionals in court. It might feel monotonous to to wear the same few suits but it does help put us on right level. I’ve seen several court interpreters who claim that they need to express their own personality and wear a motley mix of attire that to me does not match the “sartorial register” of the courtroom. In a non-legal assignment years ago I was amazed… Read more »
Member
Michael Creason

I would like to say that I have been in situations where interpreters were overdressed (business attire to a welding course which can be hazardous). Business attire is not always appropriate and can also hinder communication. I have also worked under the premise to dress equal to or slightly more formal than the people who work in any given environment daily. I even took jeans and a nice button down to welding, then had a suit in the car to change for the afternoon. Thoughts?

Member

Michelle,

I completely agree. Sometimes wearing formal buisness wear is not appropriate. I believe that interpreters should blend in with the presenters, not to be invisible, so that we are seen as part of the team and not separate. I would wear scrubs to follow a medical residency student around, or jeans in some college classes especially welding. I also agree that best practice is to have a back up in the car.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Michael & Cain, Thanks for your posts! We are by no means suggesting that business attire is the default. Like you said, Michael, we agree with “dress[ing] equal to or slightly more formal than the people who work in any given environment daily.” Our point is that interpreters dress appropriately for that situation. Of course we say this with full awareness of what a freelance interpreter’s day can look like. However, there are ways to have a base outfit that can easily be dressed up or dressed down, to cater to a day full of different assignments. We also work… Read more »
sfeyne
Member
Stephanie Feyne
Hi Jackie – Thanks for this article and thank you to you and Michael and Cain for addressing the issue of overdressing. I think that people evaluate those they interact with for alignment and difference – and having an interpreter in the mix can affect those assessments. Interestingly, when dressing to match a hearing boss, we may then visually be identified with the power position – and could put a Deaf person at a disadvantage (with the Deaf person seeing us as not aligned with them and therefore not trustworthy – and the hearing authority figure seeing us as one… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you Stephanie, for posting and for sharing our article in the facebook land! We’ve had this conversation about alignment with several colleagues over the years, and we recognize that perceived alignment can be a tricky balance, especially for our Deaf interpreter colleagues. It is our hope that an interpreter, when rooted in and connected to the Deaf community, will be able to negotiate the tricky moments of imperfections and assumptions, as you stated above. If an interpreter is not as well connected to the Deaf community as she or he ought to be, it could certainly be easy for… Read more »
bcolonomos
Member
Thank you, Stephanie, for your comments. Where I live, it seems that 90% of Caucasian interpreters dress completely in black….all the time. They are known as the “funeral brigade” in some circles. The fact is that black is one of the WORST colors to wear with light skin. The contrast is harsh on the eyes…especially for prolonged periods. Blues and greens are much preferred as far as eye strain is concerned. In addition to the color black, coming into a setting where all parties are dressed in casual clothes (such as in a factory or facility where uniforms are worn),… Read more »
Member
Terry Druehl

Thank You Betty!

Member
Bonnie Garkow

Sadly, I have been that interpreter in heels and dress slacks to a welding shop. Not a fun experience! I was mortified and I took welding in high school so I know better. Unfortunately I was told it was a meeting and I was not informed by the agency that I would be on the floor for training. I knew better next time I saw the job come up and went in steel toes, jeans and a black shirt. MANY times we are not given accurate information or enough information to judge attire and we learn by experience.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Bonnie, many of us have had similar experiences where we don’t have the full picture painted before arriving at an assignment.

To anyone who has had luck with navigating the expectations of attire, are there particular questions you ask before you arrive? How else do you get a clear sense of what appropriate attire would be, in a situation where it may be uncertain?

Member
Terry Druehl

Im late to the party! You are absolutely right on. In vocational training settings you may need to wear safety shoes and work pants or jeans. I’ve worked at the pool and needed to be prepared for getting wet. Business attire isn’t always the right thing. I was on the football field for 2 seasons and wore the appropriate athletic attire.

Member

Thank you for this article. I was starting to think that appropriate attire was a thing of the past. I learned it as part of my interpreter training, but I don’t see much evidence of it in practice anymore.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Michelle,

It may definitely appear that discussing appropriate attire was a thing of the past. However, like a souvenir set on your coffee table, our hope is that this article will be a conversation piece to sit on the figurative coffee tables in our field. It’s time to shift our mentality from complacency to conversation, and bring this topic back to the forefront to give it the air time it deserves. Our fingers are crossed!

Member
Stephanie Merchant

I find my great stumbling block continues to be shoes. I have black low heels but if I am going to be on my feet for hours I need something with more support.

Clogs can work with trousers but with a dress or skirt can present as a bit odd.

Then it’s a choice between being able to give your best on your feet for hours looking just slightly like an elf or in fashionable flats or heels in agony.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Stephanie, Shoes can definitely be tricky, but we don’t think you have to be in agony or look like an elf! Throughout our research and with the good fortune of working with SooJin, we’ve learned all sorts of tricks of the trade, and we’re happy to share. For example, the American Podiatric Medical Association has a list of shoe manufacturers who meet their criteria for an “APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval.” They’re not all dress shoes, but there are definitely options that will give you the support you need, and they’ll work with dresses/skirts. Some information about the Seal: http://www.apma.org/learn/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1108 Shoes… Read more »
Member

Dansko is a great brand to wear, the shoes you see nurses wear that are super comfortable. Yes, they sell dressy, comfortable sandals as well.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Paula,

Good call! Every time we look, Dansko seems to come out with a new design of which *almost* everyone on our team would approve. The beauty of their company, and all the others out there, is that there is literally something for everyone, and an appropriate option for every situation where we’ll ever find ourselves.

Thank you for the addition!

Member

I have found that a number of good quality brands like Clarks’s, Dansko and Keen offer “walking” shoe styles that are very comfortable, offer support and can be worn with both slacks and skirts without looking elf like. It is worth the investment to buy good quality shoes for interpreting work.

Member

I agree. I have spent a lot of time looking for shoes I can stand in for extended amount of time. I did finally find a pair and have used them so much, I had to find a shoe repair to keep them soled and looking good! worth the time and money.
My other option has been to use some sole inserts in my shoes. That way, I can use the shoes I have/like and still get the strong support I need.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you Sarah, for sharing those tips! SooJin has taught us all that a good cobbler is worth finding. A little investment here and there goes a long way!

Member

HI! I buy dansko with the gel insoles…they are so great! There is squish in them for long hours in the ER or walking on a college campus, and they still look professional for the courtroom. Interpreters who have to do a middle school PE class, then go to a Dr. appt then courtroom have to be able to flex for variety of environments quickly.

Member
Jennifer Berkes
Thanks for the great article! I agree with Christa’s comment (above)…not only WHAT do we do when someone is dressed inappropriately, but HOW and WHEN do we do it? Imagine that your team shows up to an assignment in flip-flops, furry boots, a denim mini-skirt, etc. At what point is it appropriate for us to say something? Can they realistically go home and change their clothes in that moment? Does it cause animosity for the duration of the assignment (which could further impact the deaf and hearing consumers)? Would waiting until the end of the assignment be beneficial? Do we… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you Jennifer! The conversation that’s opened right before or at an assignment will look different, depending on a number of factors. As one example, a member of our group shared a story about being booked for an assignment where the active interpreter would be on stage, and one interpreter was dressed far too casually for the presentation. Instead of a confrontation, or (perhaps worse?) practicing polite disregard, the agreement was for the interpreter in a suit to remain on stage for the duration of the presentation, and the other team member to serve in the monitor role. This agreement… Read more »
Member
If I know what the situation is, I dress to that, plus a little step up, just to be sure. I usually look to the person in authority for the level of dress (boss, professor, doctor etc). If Im not sure of the situation, I dress as if for a business assignment. When I have worked with a team who I feel is inapporpriately dressed, I have had a discussion about it with them. It won’t help the current situation, but hopefully will plant the seed of thought for future assignments. Thank you for this timely article. I will be… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Sarah, Thank you! We know that folks often feel most stuck when considering how to approach colleagues, so any tips you have to share from your most successful collegial conversations would be much appreciated!

Member
In an otherwise comprehensive and well-written article, I hate to see jabs like this one: “We do not believe sign language interpreters need to revert to the CSUN smock days.” CSUN—and more specifically, the NCOD—is an outstanding organization who has exhibited leadership in the field of professional sign language interpreting for 50 years. Am I advocating for a return to smocks? No, I know better than to try that. The smocks that I and other interpreters wore at CSUN did address a number of problems outlined in the article, though. It demonstrated who we were, without possibility of error. It… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Tom, Thank you for your post. Our note about the CSUN smocks was in no way a jab. It’s a part of our history, and certainly served its purpose at that time. We couldn’t agree more about the contributions CSUN and the NCOD have made to our world, and if you knew our group, you’d appreciate that we’re grateful practitioners, especially for those who have come before us. That being said, our expectation of interpreters nowadays is that we will all know how to tailor our appearance to any situation, and we will apply that knowledge to every situation for… Read more »
Member

I actually don’t mind the idea of the smock, if you’re working for a particular institution. I know that when I work at an educational institution and I wear that institution’s name pin, I’m treating far more respectfully – ie as a colleague – than if I don’t wear the pin. But some clients find the pin distracting…

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thanks for your post, Dani! You make some great points, including the fact that some clients will find the pin distracting. Our whole goal from this article is to create an opportunity for discussions to begin. As long as you (and others) are asking the Deaf people with whom you work about your attire and accessory choices, then that’s terrific! What one person will find distracting, another individual will not mind, which is why we need to ask, and ask again! If we’re truly there to facilitate communication and mediate culture, then we’ll be open to the responses we receive… Read more »
Member
Lena Arvidson
As a student interpreter (and former Teacher of the Deaf who has had several experiences with educational interpreters), I’m surprised at how prevalent casual dress (or worse) seems to be! Since I’m relatively new to the field, I’m wondering if there’s an article that has examples of ‘What to wear/What not to wear.’ Aside from the obvious tacky ways to dress, I wonder about little subtle details, such as, are sleeveless tops (professional looking, however, contrasting to skin tone, etc), acceptable to wear in the summer? Are scarves ok, and if so, how should they be worn? If there is… Read more »
Member
I agree with an article about what to wear/what not to wear. Or even a website devoted to this. I follow a few career blogs devoted to other professions (law, politics), and a big bulk of their content is devoted to what to wear on the job. I’ve thought about creating one myself, but since I’m primarily a K-12 interpreter and someone who is still working towards presenting myself professionally, I don’t know if I’d be the best person for this. But I agree: the field needs this! Thank you to the authors for the great article! It has definitely… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you, Aschae! Please feel free to post links to those blogs you follow – we could all benefit from reading views outside our profession. And please don’t sell yourself short with respect to what you have to offer, especially when you consider the networks you most likely have! We work best when we do so collaboratively, so never be afraid to open up and reach out. That’s how this whole presentation and article was put together: through teamwork that spanned several years of experience (our team ranges from four to 30 years interpreting experience).

Member

Here are the sites I follow…

Corporette (corporette.com)
Capitol Hill Style (caphillstyle.com)
Career Girl Network (careergirlnetwork.com)
Outfit Posts (outfitposts.com)
Hello, Gorgeous! (hello-gorgeous-blog.blogspot.com)

I also use Pinterest to look for ideas.

Jackie, thank you for your comments on not selling myself short. It’s something I’m working on; some days are better than others :).

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing these resources!

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Lena, those are all great questions; thank you for posting them for all to consider. While there is much in common across the country when it comes to dress code, there are also different expectations depending on your geographic location. I remember one interpreter in California telling a story of how he arrived to a job in a technology setting with a button down shirt and slacks, only to be mocked by the employees, and told to go change. Fortunately he had shorts and flip flops in his car, which is exactly what they expected him to wear! I cannot… Read more »
Member
Gwen Bennett
Thank you for this article. It is LONG overdue. Prior to entering the interpreting profession I was immersed in the professions of law and public administration-business attire was not optional. So, when I became an interpreter, I was simply involved in a new line of work, but I was still a professional and I have always dressed the part. I’ve always told my interpreting colleagues that if you start off dressed up, you can always bring it down a notch if needed, e.g., going from a supervisor’s meeting to a stand up meeting in a warehouse-you can remove your jacket… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thanks, Gwen! We agree that people don’t need expert fashion sense in order to dress appropriately. So long as the articles are in good condition, fit the body they’re on, and are tailored to the environment, they should be in good shape. And when all else fails, there are always people like you to lean on! We have several interpreters in our local community who we can turn to for tips on appearance, and that’s likely the case everywhere. Especially considering the nature of our work and how we may find ourselves in different locations from one day to the… Read more »
Member
Shelly Hansen

Watch a few seasons of “What not to Wear” ;o) On TLC

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

That’s such a great idea, Shelly! Years ago, before I (Jackie) discovered SooJin and all she had to offer, my wife started to fill out an application for me…to get me on that show! It wasn’t my proudest moment, but hey, we all have to start somewhere!

Member
Thank you for the reminder. I do my best to fit in with the standard attire of where I will be working, but must confess to occasionally wearing dangling earrings. That will stop now. I am surprised, though, that there was no mention of visible tattoos. I know that tattoos are becoming more and more acceptable, but still not in many, many situations and fields, especially among older people. It is becoming very common for a young team to show up with a visible tattoo. I find them distracting on interpreters, unprofessional, and possibly offensive to the consumers. Depending on… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you for your post, Wendy! You raise a great question about tattoos, and as a matter of fact, there is a post on the Street Leverage facebook page that mentions this. A Deaf individual commented and said that “tattoos are very distracting and need to be covered.” To that end, we believe it’s not the younger interpreters we need to ask. Instead, we should be looking to the Deaf and DeafBlind people with whom we work, to listen to their preference. On top of that, we should keep our finger on the pulse of the non-deaf majority, to see… Read more »
Member
While I absolutely agree on covering one’s tattoos (unless the Deaf person has told you otherwise), the idea that you should do so because of workplace discrimination tendencies hits an uncomfortable place. Yes, we’re all shooting to be that nice, professional, blank slate. However, try googling workplace discrimination and Homophobia or transphobia, discrimination against women, those who are physically disabled, or people of color. Read how often people in religious garb, African Americans with natural hair or people who pare overweight are discriminated against in interviews or on the job. Does this mean these people should not be interpreters? Of… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you, Carissa. There’s no doubt that as interpreters in this ever-changing world, at some point we will all find ourselves in situations where those around us are biased against some facet of who we are. It’s also fair to say that one of the many expectations of our presence is that we will, as best as possible, blend with the environment around us. This isn’t to say we should deny ourselves the rights afforded to all people, including that of working in a safe environment free of discrimination. That being said, we should also continue to be particularly mindful… Read more »
Member

I left this comment on the article’s link to ASL video–I love the concept, but I hope the first & lasting impression of the video’s darkness (difficult for me to watch, and maybe even so with so for people who have low visual) is not usual with Street Leverage.

I love this article though, so many interpreters need to be reminded of the clothing code! Thank you!

jmiller

Hi Sara-

Thanks for the feedback about the lighting in the video.

As you may know, the ASL video portion for each article is a developing feature, so we are still learning some of the challenges to having remote video shoots.

We appreciate your feedback and will incorporate more lighting considerations in our video instructions for contributing authors in the future.

Thanks for supporting StreetLeverage!

Brandon
Member
Brandon Arthur

Additionally, it we have identified an upload challenge that appears to have impacted the sharpness of the video and cuts its off prematurely. We will render and upload the video again in short order.

My apologies for the inconvenience. As shared by Jean, we are continuing to develop this part of the StreetLeverage endeavor.

Best,

Brandon

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Sara, Thank you for your note and for your feedback! Brandon and Jean have all the technological expertise to offer, so I’m glad they were able to post as well. Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the video quality!

Member
Ellen Hayes
As an agency owner, I have not only stressed this very issue with the independent contractors that I hire, but I have also presented workshops on this several times. I am so glad to see this article! I agree that less than professional attire will continue to cause us to struggle with the people that don’t understand our profession….stress the word profession. I interviewed other professionals for my workshop presentation and heard the following: “If you dress professionally, I trust that you know what you are doing”. “Sloppy dressers produce sloppy work”. “If you look and behave professionally, I am… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you, Ellen! You have an intimate understanding of the potential impact of an interpreter’s appearance. Agencies have reputations to uphold, and every interpreter you send to an assignment is an agent who can either align her or himself with your brand, or not. We couldn’t agree more with the quotes you shared, too. “Sloppy dressers produce sloppy work” is also true in its opposite. When we “dress the part,” we’re bound to feel more confident and at ease, which in turn reduces the amount of intrapersonal noise that would otherwise take energy away from the impossibly hard cognitive task… Read more »
Member

So essentially, we should always conform. Always try and predict a look that maximises facelessness. Try and be invisible, even though that’s impossible.

Perhaps we should hold fashion and beauty contests for interpreters. Drum out those terps who draw too much attention, whose ugliness doesn’t quite fit in …

God knows what you guys would make of British interpreters, with our snaggle teeth and sailor tattoos … and that’s just the women.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Matt, You’re spot on, when it comes to conforming. When interpreters go to work, we don’t make the rules. We don’t have the luxury of determining what others will perceive about us, and more importantly, about the Deaf and DeafBlind people with whom we work. As such, we must dress according to the cultural expectations of that given environment, if we’re to earn the respect that the work deserves. You mentioned gender in your post, which is fitting because it’s different for men and women. Any gender study will show that when a man walks into a room, more often… Read more »
Member
Thank you for this always timely article. I have a few thoughts to add. One is that I was at CSUN during the smock days. In retrospect, I love the smock. It allowed me to wear clothes that I wanted to without any issues of professionalism/respect. It was exactly like a doctor’s smock. However, it has been many years since I’ve worked at CSUN or worn a smock. I like to think I have common sense (which I know isn’t so common). If I agonize over what to wear to interpret a job interview or a wedding, I know that… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you for your post, Lauren!

We’re trying to reframe that idea of “interpreter fashion police.” We think that addressing inappropriate attire and appearances doesn’t necessarily amount to policing, but it is a way to hold ourselves and one another accountable. We hope that over time, our field will evolve from a complacent group to one of “see something, say something.” We also believe that serving as an example is best when accompanied by a conversation. Hopefully those conversations will start to pop up everywhere – among teams and between interpreters and consumers!

Member
Jenny Miller

Thank you for the article. I wanted to address the color of shirt discussion. I have noticed more an more consumers that have a real need for more contrasting colors (Black shirts for people with lighter skin, lighter shirts for people with darker skin). I am trying to find and wear more 3/4 sleeve black shirts. It’s just easier that way and I feel that what is most important is the message that is being conveyed, not my fashion decisions.

And as for shoes: Danskos Danskos Danskos:).

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thanks for your post, Jenny! For us, it was never about fashion decisions. Instead, it’s about making appropriate choices that allow the message being conveyed to take center stage. We agree – that’s what’s most important. Sometimes, however, we make choices to wear articles and accessories that do not act like a blank canvas for the message, but rather serve to detract or distract from the message being conveyed. We hope that this article will be a conversation starter for many, so that those detractions and distractions will decrease steadily over time!

Member
Hi! thanks for this article! Totally agree…thinking about good decisions and not so good decisions regarding attire. I remember being underdressed with a paper sack lunch for a very formal medical school interview day. I “felt” like I earned a “casual Friday” because of my week’s worth of work, but that was a mistake. It takes time and feedback sometimes to make changes. One time my skirt was too short. I thought it was fine with black/grey tights/leggings. But the client thought it was totally distracting. Never again. It wasn’t on purpose…I thought it was cute and comfy. It is… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you Shelly! Your honesty, and tips for team journaling, are appreciated. We all make mistakes, and it’s only from conversations that we will have the opportunity to learn from others (so we don’t make them ourselves!). There’s one thing you said that we’ve found to not be true over the years – that being that professional attire can be less comfortable to wear for the whole day. When we presented two years ago, we had a colleague in the audience who wanted us to say which was more important: form or function. Honestly, we think you can have both!… Read more »
Member
Shelly Hansen

Hi! Thanks for reply…I meant that some people find it less comfy…I agree…there are lots of nice, stretchy fabrics and comfortable work attire. But if you compare it to black sneakers and t shirts and your favorite old faded pants it isn’t the same comfort level for some people. We are so fortunate to have the crazy amount of quality selection in clothing for work.

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

You’re absolutely right! No one can replace their most “loved” (worn-in) articles. However, designers that are often found at Marshalls and TJ MAXX like Carol Little and Max Studio do come awfully close! 😉

Member
Hello! I attended an ITP where all of my Instructors and Interpreting mentors dressed professionally. I learned and was taught this is the “norm”. We were not permitted to wear jeans at the (several) agencies and universities I worked at. I am so thankful for learning to have such high standards regarding dress as an interpreter. I have gone to a couple assignments wearing jeans (a night time star gazing class, summer camp) and felt so out of sorts with what I was wearing but it was okay because to show up at summer camp with a skirt would have… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you for your post, Paula! We hope that going forward, if comments are made about your appropriate attire, that you’ll be able to take advantage of that as a conversation-starter, instead of as a passing comment. Ideally folks making those comments will also be able to ask (with an open mind) about your reasons behind your choices. We believe that if we asked more questions of our colleagues instead of using declarative statements, we’d get a lot closer to understanding where we’re all coming from!

Member

Yes! Thanks for the tip. I think I was so surprised by this comment (the first in 12 years) I wasn’t sure what to say but this article gives me some great ideas as to how to start that conversation.

Member
Peg Stewart
Thank you for this article. This has been a real bone of contention for me lately. Not only is the consumer impacted but if you are part of an interpreting team you are impacted as well. We come as a package and are looked at through the same viewfinder. If we want to be recognized as professionals, we need to dress like professionals. I am not opposed to tattoos as a rule, so to those who have multiples – when they become a distraction to the consumer how is it any different than being inappropriately dressed? Unless I know for… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Hello Peg! Thanks so much for your post. You make a great point that interpreters are seen as a package, and what one does reflects on the other. Hopefully this will be all the more reason for us to start (and/or continue) talking with one another about our choices.

Member
Thanks for this article. I like the idea of keeping a blazer or similar in the car, just in case. I remember being begged to do a terp job at the VERY LAST MINUTE. It happened to be mufti day at my usual place of work and I was wearing a VERY SHORT, VERY LOUD mini dress – so I said I could do the job but they’d need to please be understanding about my outfit. I ended up on a very high stage and not only am I sure that everyone could see up my dress (and probably got… Read more »
Member

Thanks for being self-deprecating and honest enough to share. We learn from our mistakes!!!

jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Dani, we couldn’t agree more with Kevin! Thank you for your uncensored honesty about this lesson learned. And we’re glad that you’re taking away the idea of keeping a black jumper in the car. You know, even for those of us who use public transportation to and from our assignments, we still believe that a blazer/cardigan/etc. can be quite portable and carried with us for the day. Just like Gwen’s point earlier, you can always dress something down, but once you’ve started dressed down, you have few options to dress it up!

Member
So glad to see this addressed. As an ITP instructor I take a lot of flack for taking a strong stand in this area. I tell my students to dress according to how they want to be paid! Want to be paid like a professional them dress like one. I also use an article by an etiquette columnist in my class. In it the article mentions the recent trend to attend formal events (weddings, funerals, graduations) dressed in overalls, shorts, halter tops, and t-shirts. She said that wearing such appearal says you were too busy to take time to dress… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you, Sandra! Would you mind sharing that etiquette column you subscribe to? Since there’s little information available about our own field, at this point we borrow and adapt. Also, kudos to you for taking such a strong stand! When it comes to appropriate appearance, we find that many people wish to have an explanation for why they cannot meet the expectation. Sometimes it’s because of a bad knee, some recent surgery, or a body shape, but regardless, we have been able to find styles that can still be appropriate and suit the healing body (for example). It may take… Read more »
Member
I put together a team of interpreters every summer for an outdoor festival. It requires a lot of coordination, dissemination of information, etc. One thing I am very strict on is attire. I let everyone know months ahead that they need to get a certain color “polo” shirt and either khaki or black shorts. This makes us look all of a piece and easy for the Deaf person to locate the interpreter within the crowd. This year I had a CI/CT of 25 years wanting to join us but with little experience in platform, theater or music interpreting. This person… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thanks for your honest post, Kevin! It will take time to make the cultural shift. We’ve gone many years without holding ourselves and one another accountable when it comes to appearance, so any shift in that direction will be a big success. It’s expected we’ll experience push-back, too. For future coordination, we can only hope that any push-back will become an opportunity for conversation. It will be these conversations that ultimately serve to move us in what we believe is the right direction.

Member
I can definitely get behind the position of this article as I have been horrified several times at my team’s attire. I think it’s important for the team members to dress on the same level (business casual, formal, etc) as possible as to keep a sense of consistency and professionalism. However, something that was not addressed was our Deaf consumers attire. There have been too many occasions where I have been voicing for a Deaf presenter (so we’re talking about several hours of voicing, not just a quick exchange)and they are wearing loud prints, bangles, etc. In situations like that… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you, Karen! After reading your post, we are reminded how important it is to build trust throughout the community with whom we work. With that trust, we can open a variety of conversations, including what we need to do our work, especially because that may vary from practitioner to practitioner (though we would echo our colleague Dennis Cokely in what he says are the four absolutes of what non-deaf interpreters need to perform their job: to see and be seen, to hear and be heard). Outside of our own work, we can’t represent interpreters and what they say, because… Read more »
jmiller

Editorial note to our StreetLeverage readers:

I would like to extend an apology to the authors and readers of “Sign Language Interpreters: Attire Leaves a First & Lasting Impression”. The authors provided appropriate citations and references for their article which did not get translated into the original published piece. This was an oversight on the editorial side which has been corrected.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of StreetLeverage.com!

Sincerely,

Jean

Member
Julie Robison
Thank you for your courage and time to address this issue. 30 years ago I began in the banking industry, where there was a dress code for everyone. Later, as a small business owner, even in janitorial, we always strove to maintain a professional appearance. Now in educational interpreting, I still feel the need to dress in a professional manner, not formal but not casual. My experience, as Jackie commented, has been that confidence and ease come when you “dress the part.” I look forward to using this article to open a discussion with my fellow interpreters – school starts… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart

Thank you, Julie! We wish you all the best for a successful school year! We hope your colleagues find these ideas useful as well. Thanks again!

Member
This is wonderful advice as it applies to agency/freelance work. I’ve started keeping a whole wardrobe change in my car (heels on up) in case I get a call and am in casual dress). Like it was mentioned earlier, I’m wondering how to necessarily apply this in something like an Ed k-12 setting. Lena asked about red re:Ushers, for example and jeans. In a high school where all the teachers are in jeans, would jeans and a black button up seem appropriate? I’ve felt torn after having one teenage Deaf student tell me that they know they’re going to be… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Carissa, Thank you for you post. You hit on some great points. The one we wish to address is with respect to working in educational settings and with the same people regularly. In addition to presenting to our interpreting colleagues, one of our local Deaf schools asked us to adapt our presentation to provide two in-service trainings to all of their staff and faculty. In preparing this presentation, we interviewed educators, administrators, parents, and students. There was an overwhelming pattern of agreement that the adults working in educational settings are role models for the students. The feedback we received showed… Read more »
Member
In reviewing EIPA Written Test materials with a friend, I’ve noticed that Boystown’s information does say that in K-12 environments, interpreters are to match teachers in formality and style of dress. While I won’t be showing up to work in Tevas or shorts or running tops (all things I’ve seen in my daughter’s school here in the Pac Northwest), I do feel like there’s an amount of realism that works in with the idea that one should dress as if one were interpreting in a freelance assignment lest an administrator or parent were to look in the door. If the… Read more »
pammorr
Member
I find that some interpreters think they are suppose to dress like their consumers. For example, I worked at a community college and the interpreters tend to take advantage of the casual wear of the students and tended to follow that pattern. But the instructors did not dress that way… You would be surprised how many educational interpreters have visible tatoos, printed and flowered shirts Or in VRS, the interpreters wear bright colors on the screen that make it difficult to see them. What if a deaf blind caller calls? Or showing up to work with a skimpy top and… Read more »
jemmart
Member
Jackie Emmart
Thank you, Pam! Your post reminds us of what one seasoned interpreter shared with us in our research: she advised all her students over the years of one very simple attire rule. She told them to “Cover your five B’s.” Those B’s are bra, belly, bum, breasts (to your point of cleavage), and back. This simple rule is definitely a starting point for appropriate attire. Also, your comment about flowered shirts is very timely. Just the other day, there was an article about a Deaf doctor that highlighted his work. There was a picture of him with the medical team… Read more »
Member
As interpreters we are like white noise, something that is noticed but not considered the main focus. I’m not saying that we are not important because we are, but that the attention should not be on us. It is important to remember this when looking at ourselves in the mirror before any job. Do I look appropriate? Do I look like I fit the part? Each job will be different so asking yourself questions like this can help when evaluating your attire. In this field feedback from colleagues is essential for our success and for any improvements to be made.… Read more »
Member
I believe in any profession there are people who raise it up and people who bring it down. I believe that sometimes we need to be more like the Deaf and not be culturally afraid to say what needs to be said. Professionalism seems to be a dying art. We must all work hard not to let that happen. Being unobtrusive in our dress is the goal, not to flashy but not undressed either. My professor recently taught us that this encounter is not ours and we have no right to it , so we have no right to highjack… Read more »
Member
I really enjoyed this article and the comments to follow. Luckily for me, as a student, my professors have drilled the notion of always dressing appropriately and positively representing the client at all times. There are so many good recommendations in the comments, I couldn’t decide who to reply to! I will definitely be checking out some of the websites and blogs that Aschae posted to get some new ideas for my attire and to make sure my outfits are always appropriate. I also know now to depend on the Deaf consumers for reference as to what they may specifically… Read more »
Member
Celeste DeRosa
This whole article is about first impressions of interpreters. I can understand how deaf people would stereotype someone who shows up wearing baggy clothes, having bad breathe and with dandruff in their hair. All people have a tendency to stereotype people because of the way they present themselves that is why it is so important that an interpreter has a clean and neat appearance and presents themselves as professional. I think interpreters should wear dark colors, have no nail polish on, hair in a ponytail because this type of dress helps minimize distractions to the deaf person who you are… Read more »
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[…] shall conduct themselves in a professional manner that engenders respect for all parties. This applies to standards of dress which are conducive to a visually accessible interpretation. For … Identification such as a badge is recommended to assist the parties in readily identifying the […]

Member
The importance of making a positive first impression in my opinion is so high. Being a interpreter in training, I think it is so important to know the proper way of handling yourself in the field. Your appearance and the way you carry yourself at an assignment doesn’t only affect the way other professionals view you but also the way they view your consumer. The way the article touches on effects of not dressing appropriately and not having the right attitude and how it can negatively affect the situation really opened my eyes to how important it is to be… Read more »

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