There are many skills required for Interpreting and American Sign Language. Below, you will find multiple categories for developing and maintaining those skills.
There are many agencies or companies that offer workshops for interpreter skill development and ASL classes for those learning American Sign Language. I have listed several below, and as I find more, I will continue adding them.
Apps, Websites, and Activities
Interested in Becoming a Certified Interpreter?
There are several different ways to become an interpreter. There is a national interpreter certification and several states have their own licensure requirements or certifications. There is also a healthcare interpreting certification that is applicable for many languages, including ASL. Another common certification is the Educational Interpreting Performance Assessment (EIPA), which is recommended for educational interpreters, and in some states/regions, is required for employment to interpret in a school district.
Self-Care for Interpreters
Self-Care is one of the most important aspects of being an interpreter. We use our whole body to communicate, especially the upper body. This can cause issues such as Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI), Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, in addition to others.
Because interpreters work in a variety of settings and are exposed to raw feelings and emotions, and must interpret sensitive information regularly, we are subject to transference and emotional burnout.
Our bodies and minds are the machines that allow us to interpret effectively, clearly, and accurately, and we must keep them finely tuned to be successful. We can partake in self-care activities such as massages, chiropractic appointments, counseling, regular exercise, etc.
One will find that the activities that contribute to their self-care may differ greatly from another person’s, which is perfectly acceptable. I have listed a plethora of activities, resources, websites, and videos that one can use as a springboard. Some of the ideas I have listed are self-care for me but may not be desirable to others. Each interpreter should find hobbies they enjoy to relax and unwind and take the necessary time to debrief from especially difficult assignments.
As indicated above, I have listed activities and videos which have helped me as a working interpreter. Some of these are helpful to me based on my personality and learning type, so they may not be desirable to others. I have tried to list as many resources as possible, but this list is not exhaustive.