Friday, January 25, 2013 – Alexandria, VA
Janet L. Bailey announced her retirement from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) as the Government Affairs Program (GAP) Representative effective January 31, 2013. In 2009, Janet graciously left the comforts of retirement from a long-standing and respected career in the profession to develop the RID Government Affairs Program.
GAP was created to advocate on behalf of professional sign language interpreters and the establishment and adherence to standards within the profession at both the state and federal levels. Areas of focus for GAP include certification and standards through licensure and regulation; advocacy and protection by ensuring interpreters are represented in policy development and decision-making; and the ultimate goal of quality service provisions for consumers and quality career opportunities for interpreters in the overall quest for excellence in interpreting.The program works to strengthen relationships with the membership, professional organizations, consumer groups, industry partners and government agencies through a four-pronged approach that includes involvement, advocacy, collaboration and communication.
“Janet was instrumental in getting the work of GAP off the ground and providing that foundational support to our members through advocacy at the state and national level. Her efforts are deeply appreciated. It seems there is overwhelming support from the membership for the work of GAP in that RID was finally advocating on their behalf from the national perspective,” said Shane H. Feldman, RID Executive Director. “Throughout her career, Janet has been instrumental in the work of RID. First as member, next as board member, and then as staff member. We hope that her journey through RID will return full circle with her as an active and involved member, even throughout her years of retirement.”
Janet worked for the National Association of the Deaf and Gallaudet University before becoming a professional interpreter. An interpreter for over 30 years, Janet has worked in every possible setting; in both federal and private sectors, from hospitals, classrooms to courtrooms and conferences; as well as in her specialty area as a performing arts interpreter. In 1982, Janet became co-founder, President and CEO of the first interpreting business, Sign Language Associates, Inc. (SLA). Janet also served two terms as President of RID (1991-1995).
“Leading the advocacy and education of GAP has been an amazing opportunity and journey for me. GAP has provided a collaborative connection among individual members, state affiliate chapters, consumer groups, stakeholders and more,” shared Janet L. Bailey. “I look forward to the work of GAP and RID under Shane’s leadership. Knowing that GAP is in good hands and will be nurtured to further meet the advocacy needs of the members, I feel confident I can return to the point of retirement I enjoyed three years ago. I plan to pursue my passion for theater, genealogy, my family and friends, and any other new hobby or interest that crosses my path during retirement.”
In addition to working to support the RID membership, Janet also represented RID within the Deaf community through her involvement with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN) and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA). “I was honored to have had the opportunity to work closely with Janet through DHHCAN where we were the driving force behind the Consumer Group Telecommunications Policy Statement, which outlined the 10 core principles of functional equivalency. She is a long-standing friend of mine and I wish her only the best as she focuses on this new journey,” continued Feldman.
The field of interpreting has gone through significant changes in recent years. Under Janet Bailey’s leadership, GAP identified and prioritized the needs of the members based on these trends. Her work with GAP over the years ensured that RID is included in the discussions that lead to laws and regulations that have an indirect and direct impact on an interpreter and their work. Now that the foundation has been laid for this work due to Janet’s efforts, GAP will continue to serve the current needs of RID members and forecast those that may arise in the future.