Idaho RID Chapter Update:

As IdahoRID prepares for our 40th anniversary scheduled for April 5-6, 2013, it gives us pause to remember the humble beginnings from which we came. In order to celebrate IdahoRID’s past, present and future as best we can, these are the things we consider:

  • What will be the tone of the 40th event? Choosing our emcee has been an important piece to proactively set the tone. Our top two choices are either one of our first presidents who now lives in Arizona and who would bring a lovely, sentimental tone to the event, or an Idaho interpreter with less Idaho history and involvement, who was a DJ for 17 years in California and really knows how to keep a party alive.
  • How do we involve and embrace the Deaf community that weekend? IdahoRID’s initial board had a Deaf Vice-President and has had no Deaf person serving on the Board since to my knowledge. We celebrate one active CDI in our state and several Deaf attendees at many training events. As some view ITPs and VRS providers as overrunning our profession’s Deaf- Heart, we strive to make this celebration a bringing together of the Deaf community and the (Deaf and Hearing) interpreting community. To this end, we’re inviting Mr. Shiney Head (Patrick Fischer), a Deaf performer and presenter, to give a rousing all-invited performance Friday night, and to lead an all-invited workshop on Saturday.
  • How do we best partner with others? We’re interested in promoting collaboration between various organizations and IdahoRID. For too long IdahoRID has tended to work in a silo and see ourselves as a training provider, to the exclusion of collaboration or community opportunities. In recent years, IdahoRID has again become more cognizant that remaining relevant is one of our key goals as a national and affiliate chapter organization. In the spirit of collaboration, we are partnering with the ASL Club at the local community college where IdahoRID was established in 1973, with the Idaho ASLTA chapter, the Council for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, and with sponsors to bring together something that any one organization may not have been able to put on.
  • How do we create buzz about this 40th anniversary event? At our October 2012 fall interpreting conference, we held a “39 1⁄2” appreciation event. We gave away gourmet cupcakes with 39 1⁄2 fondant toppers to every attendee in October, sharing the excitement that in just six months, IdahoRID will be 40 years old. We’re holding another 39 1⁄2 appreciation event in November 2012 at the Boise Valley Deaf Club’s holiday bazaar. We’re excited for the 10+ volunteers working together to make the appreciation and promotion events possible, and we’re grateful to the magnificent committee making the 40th celebration take shape.

Washington RID (WSRID) Update:

This year, WSRID’s annual conference theme, Infusing Depth and Breadth Within the Interpreter, paralleled the work and contributions by the WSRID board, committee chairs and WSRID members over the past year.

Depth can be recognized in the tireless work done requiring time, energy and focus in order to move our organization forward. At times the forward momentum has been slowed; consequently, there was the need to step back and confirm that our efforts are indeed being accomplished with relevant and reasonable outcomes in mind. Depth has also been acquired through insightful, challenging and respectful conversations about the values representative of our organization and the philosophical aspects of the work we do as professionals. In the past year, depth was reflected in:

  • Increased collaborative efforts with the Deaf community
  • Participation in the Medical Interpreter Task Force
  • Partnering with Washington State Association of the Deaf and the Office of Deaf and Hardof Hearing to host a Deaf Self Advocacy Training
  • The WSRID Legislative Blog went on-line in December of 2011 to provide real-time
    communication on legislative issues related to our profession
  • Refocus on the needs of Educational Interpreters in order to support their work as
    professionals
  • Provision of resources to the high school students responsible for submitting HB2765
    (requiring educational interpreter standards) to the legislature
  • Hosted a Meet and Greet Social for Educational Interpreters during the Combined Summer
    Institute
  • Reconnecting with the Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss to pool resources
    and address the need for educational interpreter standards within our state
  • Passage of a Formal Language Policy that brings to fruition the intent of our organization to
    respectfully and formally offer full access to WSRID events for our Deaf colleagues and the Deaf community with whom we work

Breadth has been attained by the addition of new opportunities, tasks and issues requiring consideration. The WSRID board has had many occasions to discuss new challenges faced by our members and our organization and to strategize options for addressing those issues. In addition, we must celebrate the achievements and events that deserve recognition and add breadth to our organizational accomplishments:

  • Hosting of 3 community wide meetings to inform and update professional interpreters about the changes in ASL interpreting services for Medicaid recipients
  • Utilization of technology to increase organizational effectiveness
  • Digital Membership Directory that will take effective January 2013
  • Updated, engaging and dynamic WSRID newsletter
  • WSRID board member representation at a national gathering of legal interpreters and courtadministrators during the Institute for Legal Interpreting in Colorado
  • Three WSRID members (which included two board members) where responsible for executing the creation of the Region V Conference program book WSRID member, Kathy Loucks, was the post humorous recipient of the Region V Distinguished Service Award

It is equally important to acknowledge philanthropic contributions made by WSRID as an organization and those contributions made by our members:

  • WSRID sponsorship of: Washington School for the Deaf Flying Hands ASL Poetry Competition, Guam/Saipan Interpreter Professional Development Project, ADWAS Hope and Justice Auction and the Northwest Washington Community of the Deaf 30th Anniversary Gala
  • Volunteering of interpreting services by three WSRID members and two Spokane Community College ITP students during the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day hosted by the Hearing Loss Center and the North Idaho Deaf Club
  • WSRID members participated in a rest stop fundraiser for the Hearing Loss Center
  • Dessert social planned and hosted by local WSRID members to provide networking and fellowship opportunities for colleagues in the Spokane area

The depth and breadth of our organization has been enhanced tremendously over the past year. I am privileged to have been part of that process and immensely grateful for the support and dedication of board members, committee volunteers and WSRID members that have made it possible.

Elections took place during our annual conference, information on the WSRID board members can be found on our website: http://www.wsrid.com/board.shtml.