First African American/Black individual to become the President of RID.

I had the good fortune of being exposed to visual language and communication from about the age of 10 to 16 at which point I entered an interpreter training program. I began interpreting in 1993 and then started work as a full-time professional interpreter in 1994. Over the years my work in ASL interpretation has taken a variety of twists and turns. While I’ve had the opportunity to really dive into different specialties in the field, I have had regular study/training and consistent experience in visual-gestural communication and mental health interpreting. Mentoring, teaching, curriculum development and facilitation also have all been important parts of my work over the years.

First African American/Black woman to become VP of RID, also first AA/B woman to conduct the RID business meeting at national conference.

Erica West Oyedele, MA, NIC, co-director of Project CLIMB, has interpreted professionally since 200