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2016 Reboot: 7 Must Have Apps for Sign Language Interpreters

7 Must Have Apps for Sign Language Interpreters

With apps available for everything, recommendations can narrow the search. In his 2016 reboot, Brandon Arthur highlights apps that make communication, commuting and productivity easier, faster and safer for sign language interpreters.

 

What a difference a few years make! In 2013, StreetLeverage featured Leave Now, Google Maps, Evernote, Expensify and Bump as must-have apps. In the years since that post, daily life for even the most tech-averse sign language interpreter has evolved. As a group, sign language interpreters are likely some of the most teched-up, tech-savvy professionals around. It’s probably hard for most of us to remember what life was like before we had the ability to manage the intersection of our work and personal lives with the swipe of a finger.

With the bazillions of apps released annually, which ones are particularly useful for sign language interpreters? Below are seven more apps that may help you communicate more effectively, reclaim some of your sanity, and be more productive in the process.

1. Glide

“Live Video Messenger. Experience lightning fast, back and forth video chat.”

I still remember the horrifying moment when a Deaf colleague said, “Wow. You are really behind the times. You need to get Glide. Send me a message when you do.” I later learned that the first Deaf Interpreter Conference was planned entirely through Glide communication. There is no better match of technology and sign language interpreter than the Glide app. Combine the perfection of being able to send messages in ASL to Deaf friends and colleagues with Glide’s interest in supporting the Deaf community and you have a no-brainer.

Here is just one example of the way Glide is engaging with the Deaf Community: Dear Hearing People – video made by Glider users and Glide Community Manager, Sarah Snow.  

Cost:  FREE  

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play, Microsoft Store

Info: http://www.glide.me/

2. Uber

“Uber is the smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless.

Another ubiquitous app attending to users in the Deaf community is Uber. As the popularity of Uber spreads, so, too, do opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing drivers. For sign language interpreters who prefer not to use a personal vehicle or want to move between assignments without paying the high price of urban parking, supporting Uber gets you there quickly and inexpensively while supporting the Deaf ecosystem. What more could you want in a free app?

Watch this latest example of Uber’s work to support the Deaf community.

Cost:  FREE 

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play, Microsoft Store

Info: https://www.uber.com/

3. Cyberdust

Private Messaging. Private Networking. Send private, encrypted, disappearing messages to friends or co-workers.”

Private, encrypted texting which disappears after reading, Cyberdust’s app supports one of the major values of sign language interpreters – confidentiality. Messages disappear after they are read and do not touch any hard drive in the process. Unlike other “private” messaging apps, Cyberdust messages are not stored. Unread messages disappear after 24 hours.

Cost:  FREE 

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play, Microsoft Store

Info: www.cyberdust.com

4. SignEasy

Many sign language interpreters have to manage multiple invoices, forms and other pieces of vital business paperwork. SignEasy allows you to sign documents in various formats from almost anywhere.  Easy to use, this app’s most basic form is free, but for additional features, users will have to pay a fee.

Cost:  FREE for basic functions

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play, Desktop download

Info: http://getsigneasy.com

5. Tasker

Looking for an Android enabled app that does everything but fix the kitchen sink? Tasker may just be the one you want. Listed as one of the most powerful productivity apps available, Tasker has more than 200 different actions including LED flashing for text messages, a screen dimmer you set for specific times of the day, and home screen buttons you can program to send standard text messages like “on-the-way-home”. Most reviews indicate there is a learning curve, but this app may be worth it.

Cost:  FREE 

Downloads Available: Google Play for Android

Info: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.dinglisch.android.taskerm&hl=en

6. Dictionary

Language is every interpreter’s superpower, except when it isn’t. Need a pronunciation or a definition while you are stuck in the basement of a University classroom with no signal? This Dictionary app works offline, so definitions, word spellings, origins, and synonyms are literally at your fingertips. With more than 2,000,000 English language definitions, you can find idioms, slang, and specialized vocabulary to suit any interpreting situation. With the Dictionary app, you’ll always be wearing your smarty pants.

Cost:  FREE 

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play

Info: http://www.dictionary.com/apps

7. SafeTrek

While we hope that sign language interpreters don’t find themselves in risky situations, SafeTrek is an app that can keep you safe. There are times when interpreters have felt unsafe walking back to their car after a late appointment or find themselves in other uncomfortable circumstances. With a “Hold until safe” button, users let go of the phone in the event something happens, activating the phone to call the police. SafeTrek has been highly rated as one of the top safety apps available.

Cost: Free 30 day trial/$2.99 per month or $29.99 annually  

Downloads Available: App store, Google Play

Info: http://www.safetrekapp.com

Harness Your Life One App at a Time

As sign language interpreters, we have a keen sense that time is our most valuable asset. I am hopeful that you will find these apps helpful in adding time back to your life.

After all, in a world that is increasingly busy, anything that takes our mind off of the logistics of the job, enhances our ability to communicate effectively and efficiently, and helps us focus on the work at hand is a good thing, no?

What apps have made a difference managing your work?

 

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Voluntary Accountability: A StreetLeverage – Live Wrap-Up

StreetLeverage - Live 2016

StreetLeverage – Live 2016 may be over, but the takeaways linger; sights set on possibilities, participants shared generosity and perspective while looking at critical issues impacting the field of interpreting. Here’s a brief look at some highlights from the weekend.

 

#CommunityisAccountability

In the world of sign language interpreting, time is a precious commodity. The beauty of StreetLeverage – Live is that it provides opportunity to press pause on the day-to-day and allows us to step away to gain enough distance and perspective to recognize where change is needed and how we might personally contribute.

This year, StreetLeverage provided a pause April 15-17, 2016 in Fremont, CA. Holding this space allowed those in attendance to tap into a deeper understanding of accountability and what is possible when we choose to voluntarily hold ourselves accountable in our own careers and in the industry as a whole.

It is in these moments when we are wrestling with the decision to step up that change is being formulated.

While there are no easy answers, participants, presenters, partners, and organizers all came together seeking community, where they could explore and share ideas, perspectives and challenges and posit solutions for moving forward. In seeking higher standards and better outcomes, there is also an acceptance that there is no finish line – there is only forward progress.

What Community Can Do Together – Supporting the Future

#CommunityisAccountability struck a chord in StreetLeverage – Live 2016 participants on Friday night as evidenced by the nearly $10,000 in donations for the California School for the Deaf, Fremont’s Student Leadership Programs for Students of Color. Preserving and protecting programs and schools like these is critical and StreetLeverage is proud to facilitate this opportunity. Generosity is contagious.

National Treasure – Ella Mae Lentz

In an effort to recognize those who have enriched the fundamental assets of Deaf Culture, ASL, and the field of sign language interpreting, StreetLeverage created a National Treasure Award. Recognizing these outstanding individuals who epitomize accountability is an opportunity to highlight those in the field who have dedicated their lives to acting as agents of change.

StreetLeverage was honored to celebrate Ella Mae Lentz, the 2016 StreetLeverage National Treasure Award recipient.

Live Stream Access – Reaching Out to the Future

This year, StreetLeverage charted a new course for Live Stream access in an effort to extend the message #CommunityIsAccountability beyond the walls of the hotel in Fremont, CA. In addition to the new opportunity to participate in the Main Sessions via Live Stream, StreetLeverage was proud to partner with CIT to extend Live Stream access to all students enrolled in sign language interpreting programs in the U.S. and to partner with WASLI to extend the opportunity to its members living outside of North America.

The Power of Voluntary Accountability

Shaping a better future for the field of sign language interpreting requires open and honest dialogue and a commitment to accountability.

Conversation Catalysts

We are inspired by those courageous enough to articulate their ideas, perspectives and thoughts and who stood up front as catalysts for the many insightful conversations which unfolded during the course of the weekend. Our sincere thanks to:

Ben Bahan Marty Taylor Pamela Collins
MJ Bienvenu Aaron Brace Jackie Emmart
Ritchie Bryant Jimmy Beldon Wayne Betts, Jr.
Event Architects

Behind all of the insight and perspective, there is a team of people dedicated to the running of cables, the nitty-gritty minutia, the back-stage and back-office details that make an event run smoothly.

For their ingenuity, tenacity and dedication to creating an environment where courageous and free-flowing dialogue helps formulate change, we salute our LiveCorps staff and volunteers. May there be more tippy-toes than deep as you work to regain balance in your lives post event. Our deepest gratitude to these event architects who flip the switch which illuminates StreetLeverage – Live.

Core Staff
Tara Arthur Sean Benson Kristy Bradley
Dee Collins Jenna Gorman Kelly Ker
Erica Kramer Cassie Lang Tom Lauterborn
John Lestina, Jr Diane Lynch Jean Miller
Deborah Perry Lance Pickett Jason Smith
Student Volunteers from American River College and Ohlone College

Volunteers - Live 2016

Becky Alcantara Brittany Arnold Kate Clark
Rey Duprey Lisa Gomez Jenny Gove
Jay Jempson Lindsay Kram Gabriela Loera
Catherine Lowry Jessica Luna Sean Roberstson
Jarice Starbuck

#PartnersAreLeverage

The foundational commitment of our vision partners allows StreetLeverage to extend thought leadership to the field of sign language interpreting. These partners support the space and belief that change can happen, not only via resources, but through their dedication and commitment to voluntary accountability. Our profound thanks to:

Access Interpreting | Washington, D.C.

Bay Area Communication Access  | San Francisco, CA

Conference of Interpreter Trainers 

Convo |  Pleasanton, CA

Deaf Access Solutions  | Bethesda, MD

Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency | San Leandro, CA

Hawaii Interpreting Service | Kaneohe,  HI

Linguabee | Fremont, CA

Northern California Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf | Oakland, CA

Partners in Communication | San Francisco, CA

Partners Interpreting  | Plainville, MA

Professional Interpreting Enterprise | Greenfield, WI

Purple Communications | Rocklin, CA

Sign Language Resources | Newburgh, NY

Sorenson Communications | Salt Lake City, UT

St. Catherine University | St. Paul, MN

Connect With Us

Share StreetLeverage - Live via Social Media

If you haven’t done so, we hope you will take this opportunity to subscribe to receive our weekly posts in your inbox and connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We are committed to continuing the dialogue that occurred during the Live event and hope you will connect with us regularly to share your insight, perspective, and experience in order to enhance the practice of sign language interpreting. #CommunityisAccountability #WeAreLeverage

#WeAreLeverage

A community of people committed to possibility creates a powerful foundation for change. Those who attended StreetLeverage – Live 2016 stepped into their accountability by choice, opening their minds to new thoughts, perspectives, and approaches in the field of sign language interpreting. The hashtag #WeAreLeverage calls us all to utilize our collective influence to hold ourselves and our colleagues to a higher standard, to strive for more, and to live up to the ideals which brought us to this field in the first place. We were reminded that #CommunityIsAccountability and that, indeed, the work sign language interpreters do impacts people’s lives. Our hope is that these weekend conversations stir participants to generate thought and dialogue long after settling back into regular life.

Sincere thanks to all who participated in StreetLeverage – Live 2016.

Stay tuned for announcements for StreetLeverage – Live 2017. Coming soon!