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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 – Alexandria, VA
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) announced today that Julie Anne Schafer, Esq., will join the RID as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy. She is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the RID Government Affairs Program (GAP).

“We are delighted to have Julie become a part of our team at RID HQ,” stated Shane H. Feldman, RID Executive Director. “The skills, knowledge and expertise she brings to the position will enable us to continue to support our member’s needs and the profession as we strive to achieve our mission of excellence in through collaborative advocacy efforts with our affiliates, the Deaf community, and stakeholders.”

Julie Anne Schafer has over a decade of education and experience in advocating for communication access for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind individuals. She has been the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) since May 2009. Prior to that, she served at the Office’s Communications and Special Projects Coordinator and the Senior Staff Assistant. Ms. Schafer coordinated all of the Office’s legislative efforts and served as the agency’s expert on laws and policies related to the deaf and hard of hearing community. A University of Baltimore Law School Alumnus, she dedicated her clinic work to representing clients at the National Association of the Deaf.

“I am thrilled to join the passionate and dedicated staff at RID and look forward to advancing the public policy goals of professional interpreters who support the RID mission,” shared Julie. “It is through effective advocacy that RID will continue to elevate the interpreting profession, and I look forward to working with our members to promote our shared priorities for the association.”

Ms. Schafer received her Bachelor of Science in Deaf Studies and English from Towson University in 2005, and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore in 2009. She is a Member of the American Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Maryland. RID, a national membership organization, plays a leading role in advocating on behalf of the organization’s pursuit of excellence in interpreting and transliteration services between people who use sign language and people who use spoken language. In collaboration with the Deaf community, RID supports our members and encourages the growth of the profession through the establishment of a national standard for qualified sign language interpreters and transliterators, ongoing professional development and adherence to a code of professional conduct.

GAP was created to advocate on behalf of the welfare and interests of professional sign language interpreters and the establishment and adherence to standards within the profession at both the state and federal levels. Areas of GAP advocacy include the requirement of certification and standards through licensure and regulation at the state, and Federal levels; and representing interpreters in policy development and decision-making. The program aims to strengthen RID relationships with members, coalitions, professional organizations, consumer groups, industry partners and government agencies through a four-pronged approach that includes representation, advocacy, collaboration and communication.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) was established in 1964 and incorporated in 1972 as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit membership organization promoting the welfare and growth of individual interpreters as well as the profession of interpretation of American Sign Language and English and transliteration of English.