Northern California RID Chapter Update:

NorCRID enters the new year with gusto for productivity ahead and looks back in gratitude to our Region V sister chapters who inspire us and to LaVona Andrew, our Region V Rep, who leads us. We congratulate Shane Feldman on his new post and look forward to his leadership. We have invited Mr. Feldman to an important event in our community on March 16th, when we will hold a panel discussion of ASL interpreting agencies at the Deaf Community Center in San Leandro, California. The panel is part of a series and an extended project, in collaboration with our local Deaf organization, DCARA (Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency), examining the quality of interpreting services that agencies provide.

Because the issue of spoken language interpreting agencies providing ASL services has received such growing concern and impact nationwide, we will take this opportunity to update the RID e-News readership of efforts here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The description below is written by one of the key organizers, Robin Mills.

NorCRID-DCARA Joint Project: Agencies Providing ASL Interpreting Services

This project evolved out of conversations that had been occurring in the interpreting and Deaf communities. In 2012, Jim Brune, executive director of DCARA, and Robin Mills began organizing an effort. It has become a joint project between NorCRID and DCARA.

This as a multi-phase project that will build on the knowledge gained at each phase. It is an iterative process that will develop as information unfolds. Currently, the project is organized by Robin Mills, Jim Brune, Kendra Keller and Terri Manning. We plan to convene a committee or task force in a couple of months once we reach the later phase of this project. The most effective approach to the issue for the long run is to first investigate what is happening in the field, rather than acting on assumptions. Our first steps involve information gathering. We are currently in the information gathering phase of this project. Once information has been collected, we will identify the key issues impacting the provision of ASL interpreting services and determine appropriate and logical steps to be taken.

The information gathering that has occurred, and will occur is as follows.

1. Survey: A survey was developed by Jim Brune, Robin Mills, Charlotte Toothman and Aaron Brace and was distributed to members of NorCRI