Nation’s largest sign language interpreting organization selects a nationally-recognized Deaf community leader
and staunch advocate with outstanding nonprofit organizational leadership.

Alexandria, VA – November 29, 2012 – The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) today announced the appointment of Shane H. Feldman as its new executive director. Feldman, a nationally-recognized Deaf community leader, advocate and nonprofit professional, has been instrumental in advancing the rights of the community at the local, state and national levels including the right to qualified sign language interpreting services. Starting January 1, 2013, Feldman is responsible for the ongoing and consistent achievement of RID’sStrategic Plan and for the implementation and completion of initiatives set forth by a board of directors and the association members.

Feldman currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Responsible for overall NAD operations, he created systematic changes that led to renewed focus on the organization’s mission and sustainable financial management. These efforts brought the NAD to a higher level of advocacy, efficiency and accountability.

“I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization representing the interests of professional interpreters,” said Feldman. “The provision of high-quality interpreting services is integral to the success of deaf and hard of hearing people, thus we have a responsibility to advance as well as protect the integrity of the profession. As Executive Director, I am committed to fostering an environment of mutual respect and dialogue within the deaf and interpreter communities, restoring the trust and confidence of the NAD-RID certification system, and supporting the interests of interpreters at the local, state and national level.  Together, we will raise the bar, build stronger partnerships, and engage our membership in shared responsibility for our organization and profession.”

The organization that Feldman will head was created nearly 50 years ago. The founding of RID was an
unexpected outcome of a workshop held June 14-17, 1964, at Ball State Teachers College (Ball State University) in Muncie, IN. The purpose of the workshop was to bring a more formal and structured foundation to the training of interpreters. Many of the participants of the workshop, which included both deaf and hearing individuals, felt that the formalization of interpreting as a profession was an idea whose time had arrived. After a name change, incorporation in 1972, and various growing pains, RID continued its evolution into its present form.

“After a thorough and comprehensive search process, the RID board is pleased to welcome a dynamic and experienced professional to assume leadership of our organization,” said Brenda Walker Prudhom, RID President. “The board is enthusiastic about working with Shane as we address the priorities of the association today and into the future. His track record makes him uniquely qualified for the position.”

Feldman holds a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), an association of nonprofit professionals who manage and lead trade, membership, and charitable organizations across the nation and worldwide. He received his Master’s degree in Management from the University of Maryland University College and his Bachelor’s degree in Professional and Technical Communication from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Feldman has a distinguished history of civic involvement and advocacy. He served as Co-Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Video Programming Emergency Accessibility Advisory Committee Working Group 1, which submitted recommendations to the FCC for Internet Protocol captioning regulations in response to the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. He serves as an officer of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Action Network (DHHCAN), where he helped lead the development of the Consumer Group Telecommunications Relay Service Policy Statement, which established consumer’s expectations for telecommunications including video relay services (VRS) and guides the policy advocacy of a coalition of organizations representing deaf and hard of hearing people.  He also serves as Chair of the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council and as a member of the Maryland School for the Deaf Board of Trustees.

Under the direction of and in collaboration with the board of directors, the Executive Director is expected to
achieve the following strategic objectives:

  • STANDARDS: Focus on the growth and development of the interpreting profession through enhanced professional standards utilizing RID’s National Testing System (NTS), Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) and the Ethical Practices System (EPS).
  • RELATIONSHIPS: Establish and nurture relationships among the association’s membership, Deaf
    community, affiliate chapters and other stakeholders to promote and contribute to the growth of the
    interpreting profession.
  • RESOURCES: Ensure the association has the necessary resources to fulfill its mission and serve its members.

About the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.
RID is a national membership organization representing the professionals who facilitate communication between people who use signed language and people who use spoken language.  Interpreters serve as professional communicators in a vast array of settings such as: churches, schools, courtrooms, hospitals and theaters, as well as on political grandstands and television. RID’s function is to support our membership by providing the foundation needed to launch and sustain careers while ensuring quality service to the Deaf community.

Communications Contact: Tina Maggio
Photo Credit: Rajandeep Gahunia by Raj Singh Photography