Submitted by: Michael Bodak, President
Greeting from the Silver State and Nevada RID!
Nevada RID (NVRID) is gearing up for our upcoming elections for the new 2012-2014 NVRID Board and is getting ready for another exciting term!
The current NVRID Board has been quite busy by holding live presenter workshops during the odd numbered months and Interpreter Networking Socials during the even numbered months. We have held workshops with topics like “Keeping Interpreting Safe,” “Breaking Into Legal Interpreting,” “Interpreting Intentionally Vague Language,” and we’ll conclude this fiscal year with a “Deaf/Blind Interpreting” workshop. Our Interpreter Networking Socials allow members to catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones!
NVRID is committed to the professional development and networking of all our members. We are continually searching for presenters for our upcoming workshop season (Sept‐June), so if you’ve never been to “Sin City” and want to have a working vacation, let us know. We would love to have you!
We hope to see everyone at the Region V Conference in Hawaii!
San Diego County RID
Submitted by: Mala S. Poe, President
SDCRID Think Tanks
San Diego County RID (SDCRID) has been fortunate enough to have bimonthly professional gatherings among colleagues for a few years now. They have not been too formal and until recently never provided any CEUs. The conversations change each time, and the topics are brought from those who attend. It is advertised as BYOI, Bring Your Own Issue. If no topics arise, our Community Working Interpreter Rep, Judith Kroeger, has a few tucked away from previous meetings that were never discussed. We often have columns in our quarterly newsletter, InTouch, which Judith will summarize the latest Think Tank. This most recent one, which is following on the next page, I thought was applicable to our Region and wanted to share it with everyone else. We welcome those of you vacationing in San Diego to join our Think Tanks, so if you are in the area, stop on by.
Think Tanks are a way to bring large-scale national issues to the local forefront and vice versa, local issues to the national level. As with all Think Tanks, January’s was no different. The recent VIEWS article on Video Remote Interpreting in the medical setting provided the backdrop for the first discussion, and the second discussion revolved around an issue happening locally that is also happening in other communities. It is through these discussions that we begin to regain control as the autonomous practitioners we are.
Recently there has been increased use of Video Remote Interpreting in local hospitals, just as those that have been discussed in the recent VIEWS article. The use of such interpreting does create some challenges that were brought up at the Think Tank. One issue was that there is no time allotted before the start of the remote session to dialogue with the client and match language preferences. Due to the “per minute” nature of many VRI assignments, “time is money.” Likewise, teaming in situations that may go over scheduled time is also problematic. The group also discussed the issue that Deaf clients are requesting onsite interpreters and not VRI, but due to contracting obligations are not given an option of the 3-D version over the 2-D version. Lastly, the transfer of work to other economies for which a different cost of living can substantiate a different rate for the interpreter came up. With all of these, the issue remained one of the hearing client contracting with the VRI agency without heading information from both Deaf clients and from interpreters.
With a discussion of the challenges also came some relevant insights into the possible solutions we can seek out in an effort to bring the decision making practices back to all stakeholders, not just a few. One suggestion was to work with all stakeholders to determine where VRI is appropriate and beneficial to all participants, not just the pocketbooks of a few. It is
through this dialogue that information was brought up to discuss in further detail with the national Video Interpreter Member Section to consider the idea of reviewing/developing standard practice papers for VRI that includes training, and discussion of the appropriateness of setting and situation for the determination of use of VRI. It was further discussed that this process should include Deaf stakeholders in decision making process towards some joint understanding between those who contract with VRI companies and those who are forced to use such services.
Interesting though, there is a standard practice paper published by RID on VRI. Within this publication, the issue of VRI in the medical setting is directly addressed. This paper addresses qualifications, appropriate use, and inappropriate use of such services.
Likewise, NAD has published an advocacy statement for the use of VRI in medical settings (http://www.nad.org/issues/technology/vri/advocacy-statement-medical-setting) and a position statement for the use of VRI services in hospitals (http://www.nad.org/issues/technology/vri/position-statement-hospitals). It is here that NAD stresses, and RID quotes in their standard practice paper that “if at any time the deaf consumer determines that VRI does not provide effective communication, the consumer may choose to decline use of VRI in medical settings.”
The question may then remain, how do we as interpreters effectively use these resources as tools when working with clients?
Just like the issue of VRI in medical settings is happening right here in our local hospitals, another agency is moving into the area and it is said that they are underbidding contracts in an effort to “lay claim” to the work, then hire un- and less than qualified interpreters to do the work at a cheaper rate. This discussion did include the idea that ITP graduates were being used in settings that may not be the best preliminary experience for them. But the question then remains; where are we expecting our ITP graduates to gain their experience?
In understanding the scope of the issue, again, the attendees opted to look at some possible solutions. Maybe we as interpreters need to work together in a coalition to regain control. As we individually fraction to do what may be best for us at the time, we fail to realize the repercussions that may have on the profession in general and the effect on the climate for providing service within our own community.
At the same time the issue of a compensation survey was revisited; this time with volunteers to work on developing, disseminating, and analyzing such survey. The thought was that this survey could be used as a tool for interpreters to know when they are under/over bidding and know what their colleagues are charging without that culturally intrusive question of “how much do YOU charge?”
With each of these solutions, it requires a community effort for which to receive the answers to what we want to see. We need to see a community come together to answer the survey. We need a community to consider the business decisions they make not only as it applies to the current situation, their own personal well-being, but the climate of the current community as well.
In each of the topics selected to discuss at the Think Tank interpreters involved in the discussions are looking for a larger community to act; to act in a way that supports all of us as interpreters and in turn uplift the profession and the community we serve. I look forward to your involvement not only in the compensation survey that is to come out, but at the next Think Tank!
SDCRID Community Rep for Working Interpreters