No matter where my journey has led over the early part of this year on my RID Learning Tour, Las Vegas, Tampa, Washington, DC, Indianapolis, San Francisco or via VP connecting with all parts of the country… the issue of advocacy seems to be the one that is consistently raised.
This is on par with the strategic efforts of RID Headquarters to ensure a strong commitment to the organization’s mission of achieving excellence in interpreting.
Recently RID took an advocacy position on the proposed rules and regulations for the interpreting profession in Michigan.
I’d like to highlight some of the important areas of our advocacy strategies.
1) High Standards for Educational Interpreters should be maintained by states requiring that K-12 interpreters hold an Ed:K-12. The credential represents not only a level of assessment of the EIPA at 4.0 or above but requires a Bachelor’s degree (as of July 1, 2012), commitment to continuing education and adherence to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct (CPC).
2) RID strongly believes that the SC:L and the CLIP-R are the highest standard currently available to evaluate an interpreter’s legal acumen and thus should be the only means to achieve the legal endorsement. And until such a time that other specialties are developed in high risk situations, like medical and mental health, there should be post-certification requirements including years of experience and training.
3) The National Association of the Deaf (NAD)-RID Certification System strengthens the impact of the regulations within the states because it is a partnership between the Deaf and interpreter communities; it employs a nationally-recognized standard of competence; and it has an in-house system to enforce the NAD-RID CPC.
While our comments were specific to Michigan, there is a number of overarching advocacy themes that are relevant across state lines and impact the strategic approach for how we will support and advance the RID mission of excellence in interpreting.
RID wants to ensure that we are supporting and advocating for our mission – excellence in interpreting – at the state and federal level in a way that is not only relevant to the advancement of the profession but that in the end, serves the needs of the Deaf and hard of hearing community. If we aren’t relevant to the consumers interpreters serve then RID cannot be relevant to the profession or the members we serve. Our interaction is circular with each other, which is why it is extremely important we continue our partnership and collaboration with the NAD in these efforts. Excellence in interpreting cannot be achieved in a silo – it must be done in conjunction with the consumers our members and the profession serve. That is the strategy that we employ in our advocacy to support and advance the mission and profession. And we look forward to the continued efforts as we collaborate with state affiliate chapters and other stakeholders in the achievement of excellence in interpreting.