Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (TSID) State Conference
When the great news of CyraCom’s new call center in Houston was announced, I quickly began to look for an opportunity to introduce myself to the ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter community in the great state of Texas. I learned that TSID (Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf) was having their annual State conference from March 27 to the 30 in Beaumont. I decided to attend this wonderful networking opportunity and looked forward to meeting my fellow colleagues.
The theme for this year’s TSID conference was “Building Unity, Deaf Heart Community.” Not only interpreters, but interpreting students from all over the State of Texas gathered in Beaumont to share and learn from each other. I was lucky enough to attend several legal workshops hosted by none other than Howard Rosenblum, Deaf Attorney and CEO of NAD (National Association for the Deaf).
Each workshop I attended was jammed packed with interpreters.
During the conference, ASL interpreting students had the opportunity to post feedback on what they had learned.
I was lucky enough to speak with Kennedy Joseph (Ken) one of several hundred ASL students attending the TSID conference. She was working the conference as a support staff and was gracious enough to talk with me. Ken was born and raised in Beaumont and is now studying to become an ASL interpreter at Lamar University. I asked Ken, “What made you interested in the interpreting profession?”
Ken said, “It started when I was in elementary school. There was a girl who was Deaf, we communicated by finger spelling and that was my first exposure to the culture.” I then asked Ken why she was attending TSID conference. She said, “I am working as support staff but I am finding the time to attend some of the workshops that focus on effectively communicating when using ASL. I think that learning to communicate effectively can both serve my professional as well as my personal career goals.”
Here is the interview with Kennedy Joseph in ASL.
ASL Interpreter State Certification in Texas
The State of Texas has their own State certification system for ASL interpreters called the BEI (Board for Evaluation of Interpreters). There are two parts to the BEI certification, written portion and a performance portion. One must pass the written portion first before taking the performance portion.
Figuring that I was going to be in Texas for the conference, I went ahead and took the written portion of the BEI exam. This would help me to understand what my colleagues have experienced when testing for the BEI. I’m happy to report that I passed the written portion and will be registering to take the performance portion later this year.