Luke Reber is 27 years old and he currently lives and works in Buffalo, NY as a Sign Language Interpreter.
1. How did you become interested in sign language and the world of deaf people?
I originally went to college in Michigan to study Business Administration. My junior year, there was a Deaf student that came to the school and I was so fascinated by the interpreter. I met the Deaf student as well as the interpreter, started to learn ASL and talk with the interpreter more and more about what it is that she does. As I learned more, I got more and more interested and interested, I knew that interpreting is what I wanted to do.
2. What kind of difficulties, if any, did you encounter while learning ASL?
What I found to be most difficult while learning ASL was the use of facial expressions. A lot of the language and grammar is shown on the face. I tend to be pretty quiet and monotone in general, so becoming more comfortable with being expressive was difficult for me.
3. What type of studies/training have you chosen in order to qualify as an ASL interpreter?
I went to Rochester Institute of Technology and majored in American Sign Language and English Interpretation. Thankfully there, they have a great program which allowed me to not only learn about interpreting but to practice it countless time prior to graduating. There is also a large Deaf population on campus and in the Rochester community which was both helpful for learning skills but also great to meet people and make relationships!
4. How would you describe your experience at Rochester Institute of Technology?
With RIT being my second undergraduate degree, I decided to live home and not on campus. Partially to save money and partially because I was a little older than most students and I've had the dorming experience at my previous college. Not living on campus plus working full time, trying to be involved was a bit more challenging but it certainly can be done. Everyone there, including professors and students, was so supportive and friendly and I cannot recommend RIT enough! I have gained so many friendships and learned life lessons that I still get reminded of while out on the job today.
5. What is RID? How do you become a member?
RID is the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Which is a registry as well as support/resources for interpreters. I initially joined as a Student Member, however after graduating I became a regular member. It was quite simple to join, and can provide you with numerous resources.
6. What is the structure of the exam?
The exam has two parts. The first one being the written portion which tests your knowledge of ASL, Interpreting and Deaf Culture. This must first be passed prior to taking the second part. The second part consists of an Ethics portion and your knowledge of the Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) as well as interpreting some videos.
7. How long does it take to become a certified ASL interpreter?
There is not a standard set amount of time. For myself, I went to school for four years, and then worked professionally for 6 months prior to passing. I know other people who have worked for 10 years before passing. It's all about your own personal journey and when you feel ready. I know many skilled and experienced interpreters that are not certified.
8. Do you mostly work as a self-employed professional or also as an employee?
I work as a freelance interpreter. Upon graduating I was initially a Staff interpreter for an agency but felt very constricted and found that having the flexibility and control of making my own schedule is a much better fit for me!
9. Which is your preferred field of work?
With the limited experience that I have in the field, I have primarily enjoyed education. I have been lucky enough to work with a couple college students and interpret their classes through the week. I really love being able to work with the same people regularly and establish good working relationships with them.
10. Do you engage in PC or tablet video interpretation?
I generally do face to face interpreting, however since COVID some of the classes/meetings/appointments have been held online.
11. Do you also offer ASL multimedia translation services (from text to video)?
I do not. I only interpret between two parties (Deaf and Hearing) for various appointments, classes, meetings, etc.
12. Is it possible to learn a Sign Language online?
I think it is definitely possible, especially now, as I know many ASL college courses are being taught virtually. However like many classes and especially learning a visual language, it would be best taught in person.
13. Does this sole occupation earn you a living?
Yes, I work full time as an ASL interpreter.
14. Do you ever have the chance to work along with deaf interpreters?
I have had a few opportunities so far working with a DI. I really enjoy working with DI's and learning from them. They have much more extensive knowledge of ASL as well as a shared Deaf experience with the Deaf consumer, which is something I simply do not. Working with a DI has always made the assignment flow much smoother for everyone involved!
15. Are there, in your opinion, common aspects in both Deaf and LGBTQ communities?
Being a member of the LGBTQ community as well as working in the Deaf community, the main commonality I have noticed is pride. People are often very proud to be who they are (as they should be!), even when the world and people around them try to make them feel otherwise.
16. What could your motto be?
I am not sure I have a motto but I always just try to be kind!
In questo articolo si parla di cultura, asl, online, time, rid, people, professor, articolo, English, training, Michele Peretti, American Sign Language, interpreting, Deaf, Sign Languages, LGBTQ, espressioni, RIT, Hearing, Communities!Gay, rights, kindness, Rochester, Graduating, Exam, Certification, interpreter, Virtually, strenght
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