Educational Interpreter Survey. How is your overall work environment?

After 25 years as an educational interpreter I have noticed a huge difference in for lack of a better term the work environment.

The attitude toward interpreters.

Politics in the broad sense of the term from multiple areas and levels seem to be impacting the work area more each year.

I got into this line of work quite by accident. I did not wake up one morning and think, “Hey, I want to be an interpreter!”

In the beginning I fell in love with my job. I felt like I was making a positive difference in the world.

This is not a rant. I’m not venting. I am just curious how others in this field in other places feel.

Here is the survey question:

If you had to pick one describing your work environment as an interpreter would it be the video above or the picture below?

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NCIEC Vocational Rehabilitation Glossary – Definition in English and Explanation in ASL


Vocational Rehabilitation Glossary

Please follow this link and click on the terms listed to view their definition in English and explanation in ASL.



Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom


Shanna Groves
Author and Speaker


Tamara Clymer
CrossRiver Media Group

CrossRiver releases ‘Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom’ this week

(COLBY, Kan.) – As Shanna Groves held her newborn son, she should have reveled in the joys of motherhood. Instead, she was plagued by questions and fear. Something was wrong. The sounds she once took for granted — the doorbell, smoke alarms, baby cries — were gone, replaced by silence. Then the buzzing started. What was wrong with her and, more importantly, how could she care for her newborn son when she couldn’t even hear him cry?

In her new book, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, Shanna Groves shares her struggle to find God’s grace during her roller coaster ride of unexplained deafness. No matter the struggles you’re facing, Shanna’s honesty in sharing her emotional battle with a progressive hearing loss diagnosis, will inspire you to reach out for your heavenly Father’s hand…and hang on tight.

“Shanna dives deep into her heart and opens up her thoughts on her journey through life and loss,” says Karen Putz, author of The Parenting Journey, Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. “Shanna takes a raw, honest look at the impact of becoming deaf and the long road to acceptance. The confessions she reveals will have you nodding along with a smile and a laugh, for on a very human level, you will relate.”

Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, released by CrossRiver Media, will hit local and online bookstores on March 22. It is the second book for Ms. Groves. Her first, Lip Reader was released in 2009. She is also a speaker and freelance writer, having written for Hearing Loss Magazine,, The Kansas City Star, MOMSense magazine and a Cup of Comfort books. Ms. Groves is a graduate of the University of Sciences and Arts of Okalahoma where she earned a communications degree. She also writes extensively about being a hard of hearing parent on her blog,

Learn more about Shanna Groves and her speaking schedule at

For more information on Shanna Groves, or to schedule an interview please contact Tamara Clymer at CrossRiver Media Group at (785) 462-0400 or For a high-resolution JPEG color photograph of Ms. Groves or the book cover, please e-mail Tamara with the request.

Pacers Peer Advocacy Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities


“A Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities”

Most students don’t like to see bullying, but they may not know what to do when it happens. Peer advocacy—speaking out on the behalf of others — is a unique approach that empowers students to protect those targeted by bullying. It works for two reasons: Students are more likely than adults to see what is happening with their peers, and peer influence is powerful. A student telling someone to stop bullying has much more impact than an adult giving that same advice.

In exploring a peer advocacy model in your school, consider who the adult leader should be, which students could benefit from peer intervention, and which students could be catalysts for change. The peer advocates should be educated on:
• the dynamics of bullying behavior
• the characteristics, traits, and circumstances of the students for whom they are advocating
• the options of how to intervene


Intervention strategies can be tailored for each situation. Some advocates will feel comfortable with direct interventions, such as telling the person bullying to stop. Others may want to approach indirectly, such as supporting the person after an incident or reporting it to the adult leader.

Video May Be Viewed Here:

Learn more about peer advocacy on 

For more information on how to create a peer advocacy group in your school, please contact Julie Hertzog at

Deaf Teacher Teachs Sign Language in ASL at Houston, TX High School – By Silesha Walker

Tuesday, December 04, 2012 By Silesha Walker, Westside High School

Matthew Martinez, who was born deaf, teaches his American Sign Language course at Westside High School. "Deaf people can do anything except hear," Martinez said, quoting former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan. - Silesha Walker

Matthew Martinez, who was born deaf, teaches his American Sign Language course at Westside High School. “Deaf people can do anything except hear,” Martinez said, quoting former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan. – Silesha Walker

Walking into one of Westside High School’s hallways, you’re greeted by a green canvas exhibiting the school’s fine arts programs, students talking while walking to class and one teacher that sometimes go unnoticed.

Though his class is in the beginning on the house’s hall, his quiet nature is a complete contrast of the bustling high school environment. Matthew Martinez, the ASL teacher at Westside High School, does more than teach American Sign Languages, he lives it.

Martinez was born deaf.  Though both his parents are not deaf, his cousin and older sister are both of the deaf community. Martinez said he learned signing as his first language and was able to communicate with his family.

“My father already knew signing before he was married to my mom,” Martinez said.“When they found out that my older sister and I were both deaf, they started to learn American Sign Language right away.”

Martinez says he is fortunate, because a lot of parents with deaf children tend to not know sign language or do not bother to take it all. His parents also kept him and his sister engaged in activities happening in the deaf community.

“They also always sent us to deaf community gatherings such as church, camp, theatre, picnics, etc. when we were growing up,” Martinez said. “I always enjoyed going to the deaf community because everybody’s signing.”

Though the deaf community surrounded Martinez, he didn’t attend an all-deaf school growing up. Instead, he attended a public school that provided an interpreter and deaf education program in Dallas.

Growing up for Martinez seemed normal enough with extracurricular activities and maintaining his grades just like every other students, there were times when being deaf came as a hardship for him.

“I remembered when I was a little boy and I ended up someplace isolated, lost, scared and no one able to communicate with me for few seconds,” Martinez said.

There are other things that come to a struggle to him in his everyday life that those of hearing take for granted at times.

“When something is not fully accessible, that bothers me a lot,” Martinez said. “For example, no interpreter provided, no captioning/subtitles on TV shows, advertisements, internet or movies.”

Martinez says that he being deaf is in fact a challenge, but more so for other people rather than himself.

“I have to admit I sometimes meet ignorant people,” Martinez said. “I have no problem to teach and work with them.”

That inspired Martinez to become an ASL teacher in the first place. His niece, who is also deaf, also played a major role in his wanting to be a teacher after trying to find the best education for her.

“My main goal is to provide my students the understanding of the social, political and historical of the deaf world,”Martinez said.

Though his teacher life is quite different from his every day life, Martinez still performs he duties needed to be an adequate teacher. He’s active in the demand of faculty meetings, Open House, and other things of the like in spite of being completely deaf.

“The interpreter is provided when we are having a faculty meeting, open house, graduation, etc,” Martinez said. “The main office also passes out memo pads for every teacher and other staff members so they can communicate with me whenever they need to.”

Instead of there being a disconnect and communication level with his students, it is actually stronger than most teacher-student relationships.

“Mr. Martinez is definitely one of my favorite teachers. The way he teaches gives a more in depth idea of the language, rather than just remembering vocabulary words like in other foreign language classes,” student Jessica Meents said.

Staff members find Martinez to be an inspiration and also embrace him as a valuable member of Westside’s family. ‘

“I admired him for not using his inability to hear and speak, as a handicap, to be able to teach,” Westside teacher Sandra Vargas said. “Over time he has made me want to learn the language of sign. It’s silent, yet it speaks loudly.”

In his journey of being a deaf person in a hearing world, he has used the hardships he’s faced to become the person and teacher that he is today.

“I was told that I can’t become a teacher or working with hearing children because I am deaf,” Martinez said. “For long time ago, I had to learn that I don’t have to be stuck in an environment full of non signers. I have to move and find a right place for me and myself.”

When asked what he would want those of the hearing world to know in order to be more sensitive and accommodating to the deaf world, Martinez referenced a quote from former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan: “Deaf people can do anything except hear.”

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