Today Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 18

R ise and S ign : The Life of a Sign Language Interpreter By: Meghan Orsino “ Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ” -Mark Twain F or Brian Smith '08, there’s no such thing as a typical day. As a Sign Language Interpreter, he has had a wide variety of unique and interesting opportunities that have shaped him as a person, as well as his career. “The job of a sign language interpreter is very diverse. We’re doing everything. You name it, we’ll be interpreting it,” Brian said. Interpreters must be well-versed in their area of expertise, and have the ability to translate that knowledge accurately for their clients. The need for interpreters is everywhere, and Brian has experience in a variety of different fields. Some sign language interpreters work in education, where “The job of a sign they translate a teacher’s language interpreter lecture into sign language for deaf students, while is very diverse. You other interpreters work in a community setting at name it, we’ll be offices, banks, courthouses, interpreting it.” hospitals, and more. What’s the next step for Brian? In addition to pursuing his CCHI certification for medical interpreting, he is very interested in exploring Video Relay Interpreting, a new innovative technology to improve interactions and interpretations for deaf individuals remotely. “Don’t limit yourself by what others say. Try it. Keep working for it. You might not be the best, but you’re trying and you’re going forward.” “Video Relay Interpreting is where a deaf person using the phone would call a Video Relay Service and there would be a live interpreter there. They would see it on their phone, so you’re interpreting the conversation to a deaf person with their telephone company, the electric company, or another business.” Brian explains. “You always have to be open to new opportunities. Technology changes, so I’m looking at that as a new horizon to venture into.” “Today, I’m in many different environments as a sign language interpreter. I could be in the operating room to counseling appointments, and even working in schools.” Brian said. “There’s many opportunities for interpreters today that have changed since 1994.” At the end of the day, you have to do what you love and remember it’s never too late to try new things and open your mind to new opportunities. Brian’s words of advice ring true for anyone - first-year students, graduating seniors, and alumni alike - chase your dreams. Among all of the unique types of interpreting, Brian finds he enjoys medical the most. In the near future, Brian hopes to earn his certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) to hone his skills within the medical field. “Don’t limit yourself by what others say. Try it. Keep working for it.You might not be the best, but you’re trying and you’re going forward.” 16 TODAY