I think I have said this before.
During the 2015 RID Conference in Indianapolis, we were challenged to look for opportunities to change our world for the better. The only thing that came to my mind was to try and honor George and Eleanor Propp, two important members of the Nebraska Deaf Community and dear friends.
During the 2015 RID Conference in New Orleans, the announcement was made that the certification program would be placed on hold. One of the results of this decision was that the National Association of the Deaf decided to pull away from RID.
My goal for this year’s conference is to demonstrate that, as an interpreter, there is a need for us to have a good and healthy relationship with the Deaf community. To that end, instead of spending a day and half advancing our education and skills, a portion of this year’s conference is providing an evening of entertainment for the Deaf community. It is also the reason why the Saturday afternoon portion of the workshop will include a panel of interpreters and representatives of the Deaf community and why the afternoon portion will take place entirely in sign language.
I have been at multiple conferences where the topic of holding a workshop entirely in sign has been balked at. Sign is not our first language and it is difficult to learn when we are not processing in our first language. This workshop weekend provides us an opportunity to sacrifice. Sacrifice our time by attending a purely social event knowing that we are creating community by doing so. Sacrifice our ease of access to a presentation in order to improve our relationships and dialogue with the community we serve.
I hope you will consider attending this year’s conference, both Friday evening and Saturday, so that we can create an environment that serves as a model for how people can work, laugh and live together.
The tab for the workshop is at the top of the page.
Thank you for your consideration.
Thomas W. Beyer
neRID President 2016-2018