December 2018 Member Spotlight! Jay Krieger


Carmel, Indiana

Region III

Why the passion to interpret?

Through my work, when I see my consumers being able to participate fully, be engaged, actively and equally, and coming out of it feeling good about the experience, it gives me great satisfaction for being part of that successful experience. I thrive for more of these opportunities.

Where does your passion lie? Is it in being a bridge between hearing and deaf constituents? Is it the love for the Deaf community? Is it in interpreting itself? Is it the “Aha” moment when those your interpret for reach the intended level of understanding made possible through your interpretation?

Being Deaf all my life, I am a consumer of the interpreting world heavily and have experienced all my joys and frustrations with various experiences. With that in my bag, I hope I am able to use that to excel in my work knowing exactly what it takes give the consumer their best experience. My aha moments are those times when my consumer actually asked me “Are you hearing?” which indicates that my work was seamless and effective with my team.

Is there a golden rule to maintain longevity in this profession? What is it?

Take care of yourself, do things you enjoy. Take time off from the workload. I travel and go backpacking to relieve stress and recharge.

What was your first official interpreting experience?

That would be about 8 years ago. I believe it was a meeting between a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and his Deaf client.

When did you know, “This is for me!”?

I came from a strong technology background, in my “previous life”. I often offered workshops and even lectured to an audience. People often stated that my presentation and signing skills were quite good. I realized that I have an innate ability to work with both English and ASL and am able to present either quite well. That is a great benefit any Deaf Interpreters would need to succeed. I find when my consumers understand everything, I feel satisfying. So I decided to continue with this work and “pay forward” my gifts for the benefit of others.

How did you learn of interpreting as a profession?

I have used interpreters ever since I was born, pretty much. However I learned of Deaf Interpreting much later, maybe in the 2000s. I saw a Deaf interpreter working on platform on a YouTube video and found out much later that he was Deaf which kindred my interpreting spirits with “Hey why not me too” thinking.

How has interpreting provided opportunities for you?

Interpreting has connected people from all over with me. I have grown a wonderful network of new friends, both professionally and personally that would not be possible without my work. It also helped me spin off some of my work into translation work which I find very challenging and fascinating.

Describe your training experience?

I did not attend any Interpreter Training Programs because back then there were pretty much nothing available for Deaf interpreters. I decided not to participate in any hearing-based ITP so I decided to study on my own. I took numerous workshops and independent studies and worked with mentors to reach the level I feel comfortable to become a Deaf Interpreter.

What words of encouragement do you have for a person like yourself, who is interested in becoming an interpreter?

Network. Question. Practice. Talk to other interpreters. Observe their work. Welcome constructive feedback. Thrive to excel. With all those, you will find yourself becoming a better interpreter.

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