EFSLI and the EU

What constitutes “Europe” these days? Especially in light of the continued, yet not yet all-encompassing growth of the European Union? Members of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters are trying to come to some agreement on boundaries. To wit:

“As I read the EFSLI aims and objectives, one of the �short comings� is not in relation to what it is setting out to achieve. It is clear and laudable. What does not seem to be so clear what constitutes Europe, at least geographically. It is 2.2.1. (a) of the objectives that seems to come closest when it specifies �European countries� as a boundary but this is still somewhat vague. There is a need to a bit more precise especially given the decision made at the AGM last year to set up a fund to assist interpreters from �Eastern European Countries� to attend the EFSLI conference. It is important because before deciding which countries are the most needy, it is necessary to decide which countries constitute Eastern Europe. It is nice to know that a group of individuals are working on this as they develop the policy and procedures for operating the fund.

But perhaps the enlargement can assist EFSLI in agreeing the boundary. Starting north at Finland and then down to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and then here perhaps in anticipation of some new additions in 2007, go to Romania and Bulgaria to Greece and Cyprus. Perhaps this can be our boundary. What do you think?

Of the 10 new countries that joined on 1 May 2004, some are already members of EFSLI. This includes Czech Republic, Hungary Slovenia and Estonia. EFSLI is already in contact with people from Cyprus, Malta and Lithuania and is working to establish links with Slovakia, Latvia and Poland.”

From the newsletter, EFSLI in Brief, 4 June, 2004.

Alaska data – Day 1

I read all the Day 1 surveys today and started to identify illustrative quotes, figure out patterns, and basically get started on the analysis. I present in my Comparitive Inquiry coure tomorrow, so that is pushing me to at least get started. I’m also mailing back the copies tomorrow – I noticed that only half of the participants wanted copies back – that means something. What? That the process was “enough” and the writing was really “extra” for folks – they would have learned/benefitted as much without the writing? Or that the kinds of questions I asked didn’t generate responses that they were interested in reviewing again? I’m just wondering if there is a way to make it feel more useful to individuals – so its not a matter of doing it “just” for the research process, but also for personal/professional benefit. If any of you want to post a comment explaining your experience of the writing and suggestions for how I could improve on that, I’d be grateful!
Here’s the raw numbers I’m working with:
Day 1


Those Alaskans know how to pull off a conference! Not only was everyone psyched to be doing professional development together, we also got to play around and practice juggling. Cathi really tried to get me to shift wide so my bean bags wouldn’t collide but….old habits die hard. 🙂 Isn’t that the way it is with everything? Maybe its only with the things we don’t want to give up. Hmmm……
I’ve been “juggling” up a storm since returning. I’m not sure if I quite match Angela’s list, but EVERY day there is a huge school project due and/or something with Ms. Hannah Mae and/or work (imagine!). Just interpreted Northampton’s PrideFest, which was a blast. Big turnout as folks are energized about everyone who’s going to start getting married on May 17th. It’ll be interesting to see not only if, but how in the world the Massachusetts legislature thinks they’ll be able to turn back the tide over the next couple of years. Of course they are going to try (sigh). I interpreted some of the political speeches (wicked fun) and a singer, Susan Bassett. She was fun, her own stuff and a couple of cover tunes, including one by the Indigo Girls. She was the very last performer so most of the crowd had dwindled, but me and my “audience” of about a dozen enjoyed the show quite a bit. 🙂 How much group dynamics can one do from stage? I pulled off a few….!


Here I am – Alaska! 😉
Slept well, despite the fact that the touchpad on my laptop stopped working. I don”t have a backup plan for no powerpoint!
I’m giving myself credit for arriving early – have all day today to get it fixed. Might be a hint that it is time to upgrad he ol” pzmo to a newbie with OSX> (Not today! But soon. Bill wil be happy for me.)
Meanwhile – am getting nervous about the presentations. I hope the design works!

Going to Alaska!

We are going to rock the house! 🙂 Spent today refining the design; I’m feeling quite good about it.
I’m building on success from Boston’s PM/WAD workshop at the CGO, where we really nailed a problematic moment with a sophisticated group of organizational diversity consultants. Exhausting (I’ll need good rest!), but gives me a great sense of optimism for the large group activity in the workshop. Had a fun flurry of emails today from the organizers – always love to pick up the jazz via cyberspace!
Also building on all the recent paper-writing on problematic moments (and aren’t I glad THAT’s done for awhile!) and the CGO workshop, I did something new while interpreting last week that I’ve never done before and don’t recall seeing anyone else do. There was a moment of din – when literally everyone in the group burst out with something at the same time. Instead of trying to continue with the thread of the primary speaker’s comment I represented the verbal action of the din. It felt…right, somehow. 🙂 The Deaf interlocutor was with the group’s outburst, not informed of it after the fact.


Hmmm, its been awhile now, but I was thinking about a conversation I had after a job with a new Deaf person…she was telling me she had “a bad habit of teasing the interpreters” and I said I had “a bad habit of interpreting so that the hearing people know what’s going on.” My team interpreter raised her eyebrows at me, but since then we’ve both been voicing those comments and the Deaf person is being more integrated into the class as others get to experience her sense of humor.
Then, there was the time a student was waiting to talk to a professor and right when it was her turn another hearing student walked up and even though I was already voicing her comments this guy just started talking right over me! And the teacher turned to him! It could have been a gender thing in addition to the Deaf/hearing thing…at any rate, I wasn’t very graceful: I immediately said, “Excuse me, its her turn” and resumed the interpretation. The student apologized but the instructor didn’t. Unfortunately, I was just subbing that day, so the intervention probably didn’t “stick.” 🙁
More positively, the interpreter confidentiality bill is making progress in the Vermont House and looks like it will get passed on to the State Senate in time for a vote to happen this year. Yeah!


It’s really true! Check this out (from their promotional materials) 🙂
The Art of Juggling Conference
April 23rd, 24th, 25th, 2004
At the Anchorage Hilton Downtown
Deaf Interpreter Presenters: Julie Simon & Steve Walker
ASL Language Presenter: Trix Bruce
Interpreting Presenter: Stephanie Jo Kent
Stephanie Jo Kent, CI, MS, has been interpreting for a decade. She earned a master’s degree in social justice education in 1996 and is in her second year of doctoral studies in communication.
Steph has worked at two residential deaf schools, was a member of the planning team for the Allies conferences from 1997-1999, and co-presented

edited letter to the editor

The Reformer printed my letter in the Weekend issue yesterday with an interesting insertion. They deleted “your coverage” and added the words “Associated Press article”, apparently to distance themselves from it? The author is unidentified on the website and it seems we’ve already recycled the paper…
Here’s my original text – apparently they posted all the letters EXCEPT for mine from that day!
Dear Editor,
I was disappointed to read the bias in your coverage of the trial requiring the use of sign language interpreters. By presenting non-deaf people’s experience of adjusting to the cultural differences and linguistic issues involved in interpreting as