For those vendors/interpreters whose invoices are paid by check, rather than EFT, it could be helpful to know what the outside of the envelope looks like, so it is not set aside as junk mail. At a glance, it might appear to be one of those solicitations that come in the form of a check that you are invited to cash as a way of accepting their offer.
Here is what the check envelope currently looks like:
We have also had interpreters/vendors wonder where the remittance information is because the check does not come with an accompanying stub. The remittance information is in the top left hand corner of the check and will indicate the invoice number(s) being paid. It is printed in relatively small font.
Also in the top left corner of the check are the big bold words “Account Number: No Account Number”. This means that we, NIS, do not have an account number assigned to us by YOU, from your system. If this check were paying the electric bill, instead of your invoice, our account number with the electric company would appear there.
Well, it only took almost the entire business day but our phones seem to be reaching live people again now and not just our voice mails. Thank you for your patience and for contacting us through other channels today.
6:46 PM, 10/29/17:
We are aware our phones are down. The VOIP provider we use is working to correct their system-wide problem. We are in the same boat with a lot of other companies at the moment. As alternatives to a phone call you may reach us by email, text, or live-chat on our website. We are, coincidentally, in the process of switching our VOIP phone provider and that will be completed in approximately 2 or 3 more days.
Please click on the “Contact” link at the top of the page to find our email address and text number.
At the Idaho Association of the Deaf Conference that Cliff and I attended a few weeks ago I had a chance to talk with Deaf youth about interpreters and interpreting services. Part of our conversation was focused on them identifying characteristics of both ideal and problematic interpreters. I thought their insight was valuable, interesting, and worth sharing:
The Ideal Interpreter:
- Remains very engaged in the process with the Deaf person
- Works with the student to develop appropriate signs for the class
- Willing to be a friend
- Signs clearly
- Is willing to adjust and accommodate requests and needs
- Shares knowledge of other sign languages
- Has good ASL skills
- Asks the teacher questions if the information is not understood to ensure an effective interpretation
- Is friendly
The Problematic Interpreter:
- Does not maintain eye contact while interpreting
- Stops interpreting abruptly without a clear reason
- Shows up late resulting in the Deaf student being unable to understand what’s going on and participate
- Signs too fast so that the information is incomprehensible
- Does not acknowledge my efforts to communicate my needs
- Does not know the subject matter
- Gets distracted by other stuff while interpreting
- “Too SEE”
- Does not receive feedback well
- Defends self when getting feedback, “Well I learned that way!”
- Knowing ASL is not enough- need to be able to interpret
There are some key themes that emerged in their descriptions of ideal and problematic interpreters. Good interpreters, according to the Deaf youth of Idaho, are the ones who have linguistic fluency in ASL as well as interpreting competency. They are constantly engaged in the interpreting process and interaction with the Deaf students to ensure needs are met. Positive rapport is a key value for those Deaf youth. Extralinguistic knowledge is essential. One student commented on the importance of having an interpreter who knows and understands Chemistry.
The Deaf youth in the discussion vary in how much they use interpreting services. Some attend the school for the Deaf without needing interpreting services. Some are mainstreamed full-time. However, they all agreed on what makes an interpreter ideal. Their insights are in line with things I have heard from Deaf adults over the years. What can you do, as an interpreter, to incorporate the wisdom of those Deaf youth in your practice?
Feel free to comment below.
Cliff and I just attended the Idaho Association of the Deaf conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The conference focus this year was on interpreting. I presented to several different stakeholder groups about interpreting. In my interactions with Deaf people over the years, I have heard the same story about how they did not know they had a voice pertaining to their own interpreting services. In my workshop with Deaf consumers at this conference, my goal was to remind them that they do, indeed, have a voice.
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) was originally established for maintaining a registry of American Sign Language-English interpreters. RID’s purpose has evolved to include testing, certification, and ongoing training of interpreters (Fant, 1990). Professionalization of sign language interpreting within the United States began with the founding of RID. Typically, the process of developing a profession becomes dominated by those within the majority group, disregarding insights from the population they intend to serve, namely the Deaf community, and this practice further promotes political and cultural tensions between the Deaf and interpreting communities (Kent, 2007). One result of the professionalization of sign language interpreting in the United States was the exclusion of Deaf perspectives in the testing and training of interpreters (Cokely, 2005) as well as in interpreter education programs (Cokely, 2005; Witter-Merithew & Johnson, 2005; Forestal, 2013; Shaw, 2013). It is important to note, however, that this is not only happening nationally. The Deaf voice is minimized in other countries as well (Leeson & Foley-Cave, 2007). While some Deaf people continue to fight for participation in the profession (Kent, 2007), many Deaf people have accepted the status quo.
When interpreters do not receive feedback from Deaf consumers about their services, they may make the erroneous assumption that Deaf consumers are satisfied with services received. It is very common for Deaf people to discuss amongst themselves their own assessments of interpreters’ hard and soft skills, as well as their level of involvement in the Deaf community (Bienvenu, 1987; Corker, 1987; Napier & Rohan, 2007).
In my conversation with the Deaf consumers at the Idaho Association of the Deaf conference, many of them did not realize they could offer feedback directly to the interpreters and/or communicate their feedback to organizations scheduling interpreters. In addition, many were unaware of the RID’s Ethical Practices System (EPS) that allows them to file grievances against RID members for any violation of the Code of Professional Conduct. Regardless, the RID EPS does not have the teeth to push for appropriate consequences. The establishment of the interpreter license law makes the quality of interpreting services legally binding, which could mean a future that will entail stricter consequences (Andrew & Snow, 2017).
I emphasized to those present that if they want interpreting standards to improve, they have to speak up; otherwise interpreters will continue doing what they have been doing. I also believe that interpreters need to begin asking Deaf consumers for feedback and checking for their preferences. If interpreters are proactive in this manner, it will help the Deaf community understand that they do have a voice in the provision of interpreting services.
Andrew, L. & Snow, S. (2017, August). HB46 Interpreter Law: What is it. Presentation at the
Idaho Association of the Deaf Conference, Post Falls, ID.
Bienvenu, M.J. (1987). Third culture: Working together. Journal of Interpretation 4, 1-12.
Corker, M. (1987) Deaf people and interpreting: The struggle in language. Deaf Worlds
Cokely, D. (2005). Shifting positionality: A critical examination of the turning point in
the relationship of interpreters and the Deaf community In. M. Marschark, R. Peterson & E.A. Winston (Eds.). Sign language interpreting and interpreter education: Directions for research and practice (p. 3-28). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Fant, L. (1990). Silver threads: A personal look at the first twenty-five years of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Silver Spring, MD: RID Publications.
Forestal, E. (2013). Foreword. In S. Shaw Service learning in interpreter education: Strategies for extending student involvement in the Deaf community (p. ix-x). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Kent, S. J. (2007). “Why bother?” Institutionalization, interpreter decisions, and power relations. In C. Wadensjö, B. E. Dimitrova, & A. Nilsson (Eds.), The Critical Link 4: Professionalisation of interpreting in the community. International Conference on Interpreting in Legal, Health and Social Service Settings (p. 193-204). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Leeson, L. & Foley-Cave, S. (2007). Deep and meaningful conversation: Challenging interpreter impartiality in the semantics and pragmatics Classroom. In M. Metzger & E. Fleetwood (Eds.) Translation, Sociolinguistic, and Consumer Issues in Interpreting, (p. 45-68). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Napier, J. & Rohan, M.J. (2007) An invitation to dance: Deaf consumers’ perceptions of signed language interpreters and interpreting. In M. Metzger & E. Fleetwood (Eds.) Translation, Sociolinguistic, and Consumer Issues in Interpreting, (p. 159-203). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Shaw, S. (2013). Service learning in interpreter education: Strategies for extending student involvement in the Deaf community. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Witter-Merithew, A. & Johnson, L.J. (2005). Toward competent practice: Conversations with stakeholders. Alexandria, VA: RID Press.
Network Interpreting Service (NIS) is pleased to announce our involvement with the Idaho Association of Deaf’s (IAD) biennial conference August 4-5-6, 2017 in Post Falls Idaho. The conference theme is “Interpreting”. Cliff Hanks, President, and Naomi Sheneman, Vice President of Business Affairs will be in attendance. IAD has asked Naomi to present three workshops at the conference! The topics of these three workshops are summarized below.
We are looking forward to seeing you at IAD in northern Idaho!
“Considerations of Power and Privilege in Interpreting: An Introduction”
This session will introduce concepts in the social justice framework: power, privilege, social justice, and intersectionality. We will explore issues pertaining to sign language interpreting, including how to avoid creating microaggressions toward consumers and interpreting team members, as well as recognizing situations of power inequity.
FOR DEAF COMMUNITY:
“You DO Have a Voice: Managing the Interpreting Experience”
Deaf people receive interpreting services on an ongoing basis. You do have a voice in communicating your preferences and needs when you are making a request for interpreters or expressing feedback. This one-hour talk will provide you with an overview of your rights and responsibilities when it comes to receiving interpreting services. Information about legal mandates and interpreters’ professional conduct will be shared as well.
“Need Interpreters? You Do-Do?”
As you grow more independent and are able to identify your own interpreting needs, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to receiving interpreting services. This one-hour talk will give you an overview of your rights and responsibilities which includes being able to distinguish between the ADA law’s qualified vs. RID’s certified, and recognizing the importance of interpreters having good skills and ethics, and identifying your specific needs.
Naomi Sheneman, M.A., M.S., & CDI has been working professionally in the interpreting profession since 2000 in various roles. She is currently working as the Vice President of Business Affairs for Network Interpreting Service and as an adjunct ASL-English interpreter education faculty at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She is also a doctoral candidate at Gallaudet University in the Interpretation program. She co-developed ASL-English Interpreting Diagnostic Assessment Rubrics. She co-authored a case study of hearing and Deaf interpreters’ work in an international conference involving several sign languages. She recently published her study of Deaf interpreters’ ethics.
The Idaho Association of the Deaf is showing Northern Idaho the love this summer by having their Biennial Conference up in Post Falls Idaho. Not Idaho Falls, not American Falls, not Twin Falls, but Post Falls. Post Falls is about 10 miles west of Coeur d’Alene Idaho and about 25 miles east of Spokane Washington.
The dates of the conference are:
Fri, Aug 4 – Sun, Aug. 6, 2017
2478 E Poleline Ave, Post Falls, ID
If you register before June 1st, the cost of registration is $25.00. After that it goes up to $30.00
They will be offering workshops for:
*Parents with Deaf children
Living breathing ASL interpreters will be available.
You need to register for the conference before July 7th, 2017.
How to register:
The IAD Facebook page to watch for updates is:
Suggested Lodging Option:
2200 Northwest Boulevard
Coeur d’Alene, ID,
Cost: $112 + tax/night
(Book before July 20th)
This hotel is approximately 10 minutes from the conference location.
Email questions to:
See you there!
In 1997 Shawn answered an old fashioned newspaper advertisement placed in the South Idaho Press; a newspaper that no longer exists. She, a former manager at Walmart, stood on the steps of an unknown home, took a leap of faith, and rang the doorbell. I cannot now remember what stood out on her application/resume. However, out of the 40 some odd respondents, she was the only one I invited for an interview.
The only thing that I recall about the interview now was that my son walked into the office during the middle of it, wearing only a towel. We had a good laugh about that. I suppose it’s always the laughter (and tears) that one most easily remembers.
Since Shawn couldn’t easily fit into the little home office I was using, and since there were half naked children running around much of the time, I rented a room in the lovely cinder-block office building a few blocks away. If it was good enough for H&R Block (downstairs), it was good enough for us (upstairs). It was one of the few office spaces available for small businesses to rent in Burley, Idaho.
Because I value surface area and had/have strong opinions on how to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome while using a keyboard, I purchased three large 8-foot banquet tables to act as our desks! Two facing the wall, and one between us. Shawn, I believe, likes to mention those banquet tables to people. I take this as evidence that she was duly impressed with the furnishings. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe we started off with just 2, because I can visualize her sitting with papers (invoices) all around her in the center of the floor, taking on the first project of catching up on some invoicing. Surface area! That’s probably why the 3rd banquet table got added. Yeah, I think that’s it.
These were, mind you, the days before cyberspace. We created a computer network within our own office and worked on that so much that after awhile, the computer tech guy running his business out of a corner office in the same building, said “Cliff, why are you coming to me with this question, you know more about networking computers now than I do.” I can’t tell you how many times I have been lying on the floor under Shawn’s various desks over the years saying “Don’t we own a vacuum?” “We need a snacks policy” or some such thing, while messing with computer and phone wires. Wires wires wires. What a mess.
The level of comfort and trust required to share an office with someone is one thing. Being a new employee and sharing an office space with the owner of the business while speaking to vendors and customers in front of that owner is quite another. It requires courage! Shawn had it. Her willingness to be vulnerable, to share that space of trust over those years, to allow me to see into parts of her personal life and she into mine, without ever breaking that trust, is something that I do not undervalue.
As I recall–from a story she told me later–she only stepped out of the office once, very early on, when she became nervous with the way I was addressing a representative of MCI. Ha! No, it wasn’t that I was getting loud . . . just pointed.
Shawn has observed other office employees come and go. Very early on, she remarked that she never knew if someone was going to be there the next day. Thankfully, we eventually found Trish, and the two of them became what seemed to be fast friends and effective office mates. We miss you Trish!
Shawn tried working from her home at least once, early on, but . . . (see half naked kids sentence above) . . . we always came back to the cinder-block building, later moving into some bigger rooms with more windows. Yes, in time she got a big fancy desk which became a pain to transport to her home again, home again, jiggety-jig. (Thank goodness I wasn’t around that day!) Come to think of it, that desk is now gone and, well, I don’t know. I’m losing track of what the hell is going on with desks in home offices. I just know I haven’t had to lie ion the floor in snack debris for a long time and that she has, at home, easier access to a vacuum.
The other thing I prize about Shawn is her ability to build and sustain warm relationships with our new and long time customers and vendors over the years. Almost all of these relationships are sustained exclusively over phone and email. She is, perhaps, more than anyone, the most familiar audible voice associated with the company and on a first name basis with so many customers and vendors! I appreciate the care and professional attention she has given to all of them over the years. I know they appreciate it too. As we went out for Shawn’s 20 year anniversary dinner in Twin Falls I realized, with the help of others, that we should have probably had the dinner in San Diego, where some of the longest and strongest vendor/customer relationships exist for her. Perhaps for her 25th year celebration we can make that happen.
Thanks for everything Shawn!
Here’s a photograph from around 1997 of the towel boy and his siblings:
Here’s a photo of the towel boy 20 years later:
Dear readers, time passes!
We now have a TEXT ONLY number for our customers and contractors to use.
Please consider adding it to your cell phone address book.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!