We are all global citizens. Injustice, oppression, and marginalization occur to deaf people all over the world, every day. For example, you may remember the #fakeinterpreter situation in South Africa a few years ago. South African national TV showed someone impersonating an interpreter, who was not communicating in sign language at all, for the entire Nelson Mandela memorial. There was another situation recently that was very similar. In Peru, there was an obviously unqualified woman who interpreted on national TV for the Peruvian Congress, which caused a major outcry from the Peruvian deaf community. These are examples of oppression and neglect that have been occurring for a long time.
So, how can you help?
Successful interpreters find a way to be involved with deaf community. They listen, try to understand the issues, and help any way they can.
Here are some examples of ways that you can get involved: You could consider attending international interpreting events and workshops, like WASLI, because it would help you gain cultural experience and understanding, and it will expand your network. Perhaps you could be active with petitions, like the one that RID recently shared with members calling for the United Nations to come together and protect translators and interpreters. You also should consider being involved with your local Affiliate Chapter, and join Member Sections to watch, learn, and grow. If you are organizing or planning a conference, workshop, or event, then it would be a good idea to invite an international speaker. The speaker’s ideas and perspectives could help you and the other event attendees enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world.