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Session Descriptions

Saturday November 5th, 8:30 - 9:45 

OPENING KEYNOTE: 30 years later… Dialogue: Working Together, We Work Better

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Charlotte Baker-Shenk hosted the first ever PCRID workshop and panel in 1986, entitled “Dialogue: Working Together, We Work Better.” Charlotte’s vision of liberation in the face of oppression remains significant today. Interpreting occurs in the context of the history of our country, which is founded on structural oppressions that affect every one of us. How do we “do” relationships and conversations that are mindful and compassionate, and not harmful? How do we include reflection, empathy, looking one another in the eye, having hard conversations and calling one another in (not shaming and humiliating one another)?


Folami Ford and Risa Shaw have had the opportunity to learn and grow together, and they will kick off our 2016 PCRID Conference, “Together, We Grow” by challenging us with these questions, and more. They will bring us tools, perspectives, and hope for dialogue and relationship building to encourage us all to grow, improve our practice and better our work with each other. This opening plenary will give us all an opportunity to open our minds to growth and learning while grounding us in the context of a history we all share.

Saturday November 5th, 10:00 - 12:00

Thinking about getting involved? (PCRID Board)

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Have you thought about joining the Board or a Committee, but want to know more about what it entails? Do you want to volunteer on an ad-hoc basis, or support in other ways? Come to this Q & A session to talk with the Board about how we ended up here, and why you might want to, too!

What Interpreters Need to Know about the ADA (and the NAD) (Caroline Jackson)

What does the ADA really say about who gets an interpreter and when? In this workshop, an NAD attorney will explain how the ADA applies to to deaf and hard of hearing individuals, arming interpreters with an understanding of their role in the process of ensuring effective communication.

Dynamic Positioning and Visual Fields (David Cruzan & Stephen Frank)

There is a generally accepted set-up for interpreting from Spoken English into ASL in mainstream group settings. Deaf and deafblind consumers seat themselves in front rows off to the sides. Facing the consumers, interpreters position themselves with their backs to the speakers and visual aids. In this workshop, the presenters, one a deaf consumer and the other a hearing sign language interpreter, challenge the standard set-up. They present two alternative set-ups (methods) with dynamic positioning and visual fields. The new methods are Rear Visual Feed and Video Proximal Interpreting. Many participants will be able to try out these methods hands-on by mock interpreting segments of the workshop. This workshop applies to interpreters of all levels and is particularly relevant to those who interpret in mainstream educational, workplace, performance and religious settings.

Saturday November 5th, 3:00 - 5:00

Emergency Platform Interpreting in Maryland (Kelby Brick)


In this session, the nuts and bolts of Emergency Platform Interpreting in Broadcast TV situations will be discussed.  Real-life video examples will be given, with discussions on how to improve the quality and accuracy of one's interpretation.

Growing Together: Panel Presentation from Gallaudet University's MA in Interpretation Alumni (Moderated by Danielle Hunt)

The Department of Interpretation and Translation offers undergraduate and graduate programs in interpretation to educate Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in the field of interpretation and prepare them for interpreting work in a variety of settings. Part of this work, for the graduate programs, includes researching the field of interpretation and translation in an impactful way. The students examine a variety of topics that relate to the field. Each student will present for 20 minutes allowing time for questions. Abstracts for each research project can be found below:

Educational Interpreters Working with Linguistically Diverse Deaf Students (Shannon Davies)

This research attempts to understand the experience of interpreters in the K-12 setting when working with linguistically diverse deaf students by interviewing six educational interpreters. It is the researcher's hope that the results will be a resource to educational interpreters to provide better services for this population of students.

Unpacking Stakeholder Perceptions of Interpreters' Presence on Social Media​ (Bryan Davis)

Social media is a tool people use to showcase events happening in their lives.  More and more, people are beginning to use their social media platforms to put the work they do in the spotlight.  In general, social media has impacted the field of interpreting positively; interpreting has been in the headlines on many mainstream media sources and it provides the opportunity for discussion about our work.  Social media, on the other hand, has also been extremely damaging to some interpreters.  Recently, there has been much discussion within our field about the appropriateness of interpreters using social media platforms to exhibit their work while using it as a means to advertise their knowledge of American Sign Language and interpreting.  Interpreters posting photos, video, or tags about their work has prompted discussion on various fronts.

Coping Mechanisms for Mental Health Interpreters (Rebekah Knodel)

Interpreters in the mental health field are often faced with emotionally charged encounters that can result in secondary, or vicarious, trauma. Previous studies have indicated that such interpreters should be prepared with coping mechanisms and self-care routines. My research employed a survey in an effort to discover firsthand from interpreters what strategies they use to deal with these situations, as well as to highlight the related gaps in current interpreter education training.

Educational Interpreting: Working with Deaf Children Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorder (Mary Beth Morgan)

This preliminary research explores the experiences and challenges of interpreters working with Deaf children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The results highlight necessary strategies and approaches used to navigate the challenges these interpreters will face, which suggests that interpreting within this specialized field requires a unique set of skills, training, and resources.

Black Deaf Culture through the Lens of History (Benro Ogunyipe)


This presentation discusses through a historical lens: the culture, education, and sociolinguistics of Black Deaf people. The era of social marginalization contributed to the development of Black ASL and at least in part, intertwined with the formation of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA). This session also discusses how the cultural intersections of the greater Deaf community and hearing African-American community impact upon Black Deaf people’s identity.

Saturday November 5th, 5:30 - 7:30


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Do you know the hosts from the Deaf Mosaic television program? Can you cite the PCRID Mission? Can you list three government agencies that have existing contracts with an interpreting agency? Do you know the four founders of the National Association of the Deaf? Do you know how to join the PCRID? Can you answer which school for the deaf published The Silent Worker? That’s right, get your thinking caps on and get ready for the mind-blowing ASL Trivia event Saturday evening with hosts SFORZA and EYOB! They will be throwing out questions left and right -- about PCRID, deaf culture and history, and about the Potomac area in general.

There will be four rounds of eight questions, each question will be asked twice -- if you missed it, train go sorry. Be careful not to ask the team next to you because they want to win as bad as you!  Gather your best and brightest teammates and prepare for an evening of new knowledge and laughs!

Sunday November 6th, 8:30 - 11:30

Why you need to fire your “Committee”! (Betty Colonomos)

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This introspective workshop will examine how our internal "committees" affect our ability to make decisions about accepting interpreting assignments, during the performance of the interpreting task, and managing ethical and cultural issues that may emerge. Participants will identify and discuss those factors that may override effective performance. Activities will assist attendees in examining and developing strategies to help gain control of their work. In addition to contributing to improved service to consumers, these insights may be valuable in working with team members and in mentor interactions.

Decision-Making: CDI Needed or Not? (Keven Poore)


Deaf/Hearing interpreting teams  are becoming more and more common.  Major challenges that arise prior to teams being sent to assignments include, but are not limited to: having an effective statement/elevator speech explaining the purpose of D/H teams to stakeholders and customers; proper assessment of consumer communication needs; interpreter self-recognition of their ability to effectively interpret particular situations as well as agency dynamics.

Being LIT: How to Leverage your Internal Treasures to Create Effective Cross-Cultural Exchanges (Candas Barnes) (Part 1 of 2)

The United States is in the midst of a revolution. Events of the last few years, and particularly those of the summer of 2016, have created a climate where everyone is talking about race, culture and ethnicity. Everyone is expected to increase their cross-cultural capacity these days.

As interpreters, we must become equipped to facilitate conversations and interactions on behalf of and between, people from various races and cultures. We are in a perfect position to create a culture of inclusion that values difference. Having the skills to do this can lead to success in every interpreted exchange and further empowerment opportunities for our consumers. This workshop will teach us to identify our strengths and privileges while supporting us in removing any internal barriers that may inhibit our consumers’ success.

Note: Must attend both sessions to receive CEUs.

Sunday November 6th, 1:00 - 3:00

Peer Partnership: Four Corners (Rose Trabert & Denise Perdue)

The PCRID Mentorship Committee will kick-off its newest mentorship model, appropriately named, “Peer Partnership.” Participants will have first-hand experience creating partnerships and working together to enhance each other’s skills. We’ve taken away the often intimidating nature of the mentor/mentee relationship, and replaced it with a much less formal way of utilizing the principle of “each one teach one” to create an atmosphere that will allow for all to grow.

Keystones of the Profession: Confidentiality and Autonomy (Amanda Kennon)

During this workshop, participants will examine how the core values of confidentiality and autonomy developed in the interpreting profession and why these values are crucial to our collective professional identity. The evolving models of interpreting and Codes of Ethics will be discussed, as well as how the interpreting field’s conception of confidentiality and autonomy mirror the values of other helping professions, including medical, mental health, and social work.  Participants will also evaluate which behaviors support confidentiality and autonomy as well as judge which situations warrant an exception.


Being LIT: How to Leverage your Internal Treasures to Create Effective Cross-Cultural Exchanges (Candas Barnes) (Part 2 of 2)

See abstract above.

Note: Must attend both sessions to receive CEUs.

Sunday 3:30 - 4:45

CLOSING PLENARY: Looking to the Next 30 Years and Beyond!


In this closing plenary, Lisa Weems will lead a panel of stakeholders from local organizations in a dynamic discussion on the future of our local interpreting community. We have looked back at the past 30 years, now let us look forward at the next 30. Where should our efforts be focused? What work still lies ahead? Join us in a shared conversation about topics that impact us all!