Sign Language Interpreters: Embody the Change You Want to See

May 8, 2013

Brandon Arthur reviews and reflects on StreetLeverage Live: Atlanta with a focus on reframing the most basic question: what does it mean to be a sign language interpreter?

In the afterglow of StreetLeverage – Live | Atlanta the words of Seth Godin resonate strongly, “The art of moving forward lies in understanding what to leave behind.” As I have contemplated the myriad of questions asked and the rich diversity of perspectives shared, it occurs to me that there was consensus around one singular idea—to leave behind the current definition of what it means to be a successful sign language interpreter.

Success Reframed

This was repeatedly evidenced in the many sentiments shared urging one another, and every practitioner in the field, to return to the artistry of our craft and refocus on the fundamentals that the profession was founded upon—permission, trust, humility, and level of connectedness to the Deaf Community.

Simply, the only sustainable determination of success for a sign language interpreter is intrinsically tied to the real world experience they have both with and within the Deaf Community.

The ‘I am Change’ Manifesto

If positioned to do so, I believe those who attended StreetLeverage – Live | Atlanta would collectively invite every sign language interpreter to be the change they want to see in the profession.

To dare to stand in contrast to the iterative adjustments to the meaning of success that have replaced the permission, humanity, and applause of the community we serve with a preoccupation with proscribed practices, specialization, and financial reciprocity.

Will you stand with them?

Change-Makers

StreetLeverage – Live, and streetleverage.com for that matter, would not be possible without the daring contributions of people willing to make a difference in the field by contributing their time, resources, perspectives, and ideas.

Speakers

I would like to extend my appreciation to each of the inspiring speakers at StreetLeverage – Live | Atlanta for their thought provoking talks and calls to action.

Nancy Bloch

Talk | Marginalization Within the Sign Language Interpreting Profession: Where is the Deaf Perspective?

* Find the PPT deck for her talk here.

Dennis Cokely

Talk | Sign Language Interpreters: The Importance of the Day Before

* Find the PPT deck for his talk here.

Betty Colonomos

Talk | Sign Language Interpreters: Fostering Integrity

* Find the PPT deck for her talk here.

Dave Coyne

Talk | Social Justice: A New Model of Practice for Sign Language Interpreters?

 * Find the PPT deck for his talk here.

Shane Feldman

Talk | Where Does Advocacy Fit in the Sign Language Interpreting Profession?

            * Find the PPT deck for his talk here.

Stephanie Feyne

Talk | Authenticity: The Impact of a Sign Language Interpreter’s Choices

* Find the PPT deck for her talk here.

Debra Russell

Talk | Sign Language Interpreters: Discover and Recover an Enduring Legacy?

* Find the PPT deck for her talk here.

Anna Witter-Merithew

Talk | Stepping out of the Shadows of Invisibility: Toward a Deeper Conceptualization of the Role of Sign language Interpreters

* Find the PPT deck for her talk here. 

We will be releasing videos of these talks here on streetleverage.com in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned. The first release is next week!

Volunteers

It is difficult to express the profound sense of gratitude I have for the many people who volunteered their time to ensure our time in Atlanta was enjoyable and productive. I would like to thank the following people for their immeasurable contribution to the success of StreetLeverage – Live | Atlanta.

Tara Arthur

You are the reason StreetLeverage is possible. Thank you for allowing me to chase big dreams. Words cannot capture the gratitude I have for your encouraging smile and unwavering support. Thank you for coordinating the hospitality efforts at the event. Mwah!

Hayley Baccaire

Your command of registration was impressive, appreciated and noted by all in attendance. Thank you. Also, thanks for supporting the social web coverage of the event.

Wing Butler

You are a social web giant! Thank you for leading the social media coverage of the event and for lending your incredible talent to the StreetLeverage effort.

Diane Lynch

Your work to coordinate the volunteers and continuing education components of the event were masterful. Thank you for engendering a pay-it-forward perspective.

Jennifer Maloney

Your utility was amazing. Thanks for being everywhere support was needed. Badging and registration were better because you came. You are wise beyond your years. Thank you.

Students

Special thanks to Jarvis Avery, Henry Bruce, Brittany Gailey, Julie Garbison, Desiree Hines, Brandi Meriwether, Venise Nichole Niles, Erin Powell, Emma Jane Rozenzweig, and Jillian Wright for your support of the event and reminding us of the importance of the coming generation of industry stewards. 

Paul Tracy

Your AV muscle and vision for room set-up were incredible. Thank you for leading the thankless work that is facility and technology management. Your comedic tendencies are only surpassed by your abundant generosity.

Sponsors

Events like StreetLeverage – Live would not be possible except for the generous and progressive support of our partners. I would like to thank each of them for their contribution and support of the effort to create change in the sign language interpreting industry.

Access Interpreting | Washington, DC

Founding and Platinum Sponsor of StreetLeverage – Live

Sorenson Communications | Salt Lake City, UT

Gold Sponsor

Purple Communications | Rocklin, CA

Gold Sponsor

Partners Interpreting | Boston, MA

Silver Sponsor

The Sign Language Company | Los Angeles, CA

Creative Sponsor

Georgia RID | Atlanta, GA

Supporter Sponsor

Our Legacy

As we work to leave behind the current definition of what it means to be a successful sign language interpreter, let us continue to be inspired by the importance of leaving a legacy of generosity for those who follow. It is only our generous contribution to the betterment and advancement of the field that will endure. Lets be the change we want to see in the profession.

Thanks again to everyone who participated. See closing comments here.

We have already begun preparing for next year. Mark your calendars! We will be holding next year’s StreetLeverage – Live May 1 – 4, 2014.

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9 Comments on "Sign Language Interpreters: Embody the Change You Want to See"

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Member

You are doing amazing work.

You are exemplifying the change you wish to see.

Your dedication and passion is inspiring.

Thank you…

Amy

Member
Lauren Helfand

Hopefully 98% of those in the video will change their clothes. I’m serious. I see too many interpreters wearing the wrong colors for their skin tone. I’m caucasian and I must own over 20 navy blue, black and dark green shirts. If you have dark skin tone, wear white or a light pastel. I know that lots of Deaf people say they don’t mind what people wear. But I do think it affects eye strain. It’s one small change everyone can make.

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