American Sign Language interpreters spend 50 percent of their working day using or understanding ASL, and the other 50 percent using or understanding spoken English.  However, do interpreters spend 50 percent of their training investigating the English language?  How about 40 percent.  30?  20?  In fact, interpreters think about the English language quite infrequently, relying on the confidence that they are fluent.  But there is more to mastering a language than fluency, isn’t there?  Interpreters know the history of ASL, its varieties across time and space, how it defines a culture, and how oppression has influenced the language and its users.  We are better interpreters because we respect ASL and we strive to be experts in all its facets.  Well what about… that other Language?  Wouldn’t knowing the story of English — its usage and users, its history and cultural relevance — also make us better interpreters?  Should we be English experts as well?  This workshop tackles the previously unanswered — and unasked — questions.

when the party is political and the college is electorAL
interpreting challenges in the election season

The Presidential campaign is upon us, and it brings with it democracy and democrats, the election and the electoral college, constituents, primaries, the commander-in-chief, and of course, gerrymandering. In short, the election presents unique interpreting challenges from the language of politics. This workshop is for interpreters who believe that if there are people willing to talk or teach about American politics, we should do a super-heroic job interpreting for them. This is a brief, but deep dive into elections, government, the constitution, ideology and parties, and presidential power.

act like an interpreter, interpret like an actor
acting tools for everyday interpreting

What are the challenges we face when taking someone else’s words and expressing them in our own voices?  This is the essential question for interpreters while voicing for Deaf consumers, and it is the essential question an actor faces when performing a text.  Interpreters and actors are both responsible for taking someone else’s language, finding its meaning, and presenting it in a new form to an audience; and the voice is their common tool.  This workshop teaches professional sign language interpreters how to improve their voicing production by using the skills of the professional actor: vocal control and power, character study, text analysis, and physical presentation.  Participants will also study elements of voicing particular to interpreting: processing, translation challenges and English-language proficiency.  Interpreters have long debated whether or not interpreting is acting.  It is.  It just shouldn’t be bad acting

Let's read the americans with disabilities act. seriously. let's read it.

You've heard about the ADA. You've talked about the ADA. You’ve invoked the ADA.  But have you ever read the ADA?  It is written in English.  Sort of.  In this workshop, we will read through the portions of the ADA that are relevant to our work as sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers.  We will learn how the law was enacted, what it actually says, how it is enforced, and how is had been interpreted by the courts.