***Note I will not be captioning this video. Please read the transcript. I sign these words out of gratitude to all of the interpreters. If you doubt their worth ask them to interpret this for you. And then say Thank You.
Dear People who think interpreting isn’t a “real” job
Interpreters provide a valuable service. Interpreters are there to facilitate communication on a daily basis for thousands of Deaf consumers. We couldn’t get through our day with out them. There is no mundane interpreting task. Interpreters are there to make sure that we understand in our own language the world that is happening around us. They interpret the food stamps form we are filling out so that we can feed our families and calm us down by empowering us with knowledge before the heart surgery we are about to undergo. They sit beside us for months of cancer treatment explaining every step that is happening and passing on those caring words from the nurses. They are some of the first people to lay eyes on our newborns. They are there so that we can say our wedding vows and so we can understand a divorce decree. They represent us when we are interviewing for a new job and when we receive our 10 years of service award. Interpreters are there in the middle of the night when our loved one is near death. Interpreters are there to ensure equality during court proceedings. They are the Deaf communities biggest advocates. Interpreting will never be a 9-5 job. It is a calling to serve a culture to which they aren’t citizens. They have a passion for the facilitation of communication and they empower Deaf people every time they pick up their hands. Not a day goes by that I am not incredible vested in the profession of interpreting and work to further it. Not a moment goes by that I am not thankful for those hands that move beside me. Those hands and heart next to me that provide inclusion, equality and hope for a better future for the Deaf world. Interpreting is a REAL job. One that few people can handle with grace and poise. Thank an interpreter. Recognize all that the give. They have been up interpreting all night at a hospital. Or haven’t been to the bathroom all day because there student is taking a math test. They are interpreting for us on holidays and the middle of the night and on their kid’s birthdays so that we can participate with equality. They give us equality in communication access. And that is the most real thing I know.
Let your hands be heard
Jennifer Dahlgren Richardson
Let Your Hands Be Heard will address issues relating to Deaf Culture, Interpreting, Self-Advocacy and students entering fields pertaining to the Deaf community. Jennifer will format each blog like a letter to a specific group of people. Who do you want Jennifer to write to? Thanks for watching!