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Stepping Out of the Shadows of Invisibility: Toward a Deeper Conceptualization of the Role of Sign Language Interpreters

Anna presented, Stepping Out of the Shadows of Invisibility: Toward a Deeper Conceptualization of the Role of Sign Language Interpreters, at StreetLeverage – Live 2013 in Atlanta, GA. Her talk examined how interpreters tend to approach role conception, definition and implementation from an  interpreter-centric perspective.  In large part, this interpreter-centric approach to our work is the result of role  conception that foster the ideal of “interpreter as invisible” and/or non-involved.

You can find the PPT deck for the presentation by clicking here.

What We Believe

I want to talk about our conception of our work as interpreters—what we do and why we do it.  What we believe about Deaf people, interpreting and ourselves—and how our beliefs influence our behavior and decisions. Ultimately, this discussion is about how we define professional boundaries, which for this discussion is defined as the space between the practitioner’s power and the consumer’s vulnerability.  As we continue to conceptualize our role as interpreters, what do we believe is possible, and what do we know is not.

My Family

My own conception of what interpreting is and can be is rooted in my family.  Let me tell you a bit about them. My maternal grandmother had seven children—three of whom were Deaf, two sons and my mother.  My mother had three daughters—I am the middle one.  My father was born in 1907—the only Deaf person in his family.  My mother was born in 1918. Imagine the Deaf World they lived in as contrasted with the Deaf World of today!

They married later in life.  My father was in his mid 40’s when I was born.  He was a furniture maker and a part-time pastor to a small Deaf congregation. In rural communities, it was customary for Deaf churches to meet in the basement of a mainstream church building—due to their small size and somewhat symbolic of their second-class standing in society.  Mom was a homemaker who stayed at home and took care of our family.  Both of my parents were deeply involved in the Deaf-World.   Our home was located in the middle of a small very rural Mennonite farm community in southern Ohio.

Interpreting—A Valued Position

My earliest conception of what interpreting for people who are Deaf meant might be a bit different from other CODAs due to the very strong religious beliefs held by my parents.  My sisters and I were rarely asked to interpret or facilitate communication. My parents were older and relied often on written communication, and it was their belief that women really should not interpret—particularly in matters of the church where it was not appropriate for women to take a visible or leadership role.  And so, because they had no sons, they grew their own interpreters, with assistance from other members of the Deaf World.  They recruited young men from the church who showed an interest in ASL and Deaf people and invested many, many hours guiding them into the appropriate use of ASL, how to navigate the Deaf World and how to accomplish the work of an interpreter.  I often looked upon this process with great interest—the idea of spending time within the Deaf World in this important role was very attractive.

As my father would be involved in church events—such as pastoral meetings—or the Deaf congregation would visit other churches, one of these home grown interpreters would interpret.  And, as my parents would engage in business transactions within the broader society, one of these male interpreters would accompany them.  I recall three—two who later became pastors to Deaf churches and one who became a certified interpreter.

So, my early conception was that interpreting was a valued position within the Deaf World.  It was a position for which you had to be invited/selected and groomed for by Deaf people. This was my conception on the Day Before that Dennis Cokely talked about.

My First “Day After”

One of the leadership roles my father had in the Deaf World was as the President of the Alumni Association of the Ohio School for the Deaf.  He held this position for fourteen years.  The association was responsible for the management of a facility that was at that time called the Ohio Home for the Aged and Infirmed Deaf.  It eventually expanded into what is now the Columbus Colony.  In this oversight role the alumni board met monthly at the Ohio School for the Deaf.  I was able to frequently accompany my father to these meetings where I would visit with my dear friend Elizabeth Kelly—now Elizabeth Beldon (mother of Jimmy Beldon) –and enjoy the opportunity to meet and flirt with her male classmates.  A definite treat!

Anna Witter-Merithew
Anna Witter-Merithew

My first Day After (and there have been several more since) came when I was about ten years old.  My father was scheduled to speak at a fundraising rally at the Home.  A variety of public officials and local business people were invited, in hopes that they would donate to the building fund.  Now, seeing my father speak was a common occurrence for me.  I saw my father pray with our family everyday, teach others about the Bible, preach on Sunday, and speak in other settings. I was always captivated by the powerful way he communicated, the expressiveness of his language.  He was my hero! However, until this particular day—in front of the large crowd assembled–I had never heard someone put my father’s beautiful ASL into spoken English.

The interpreter that day was a woman named Margarette Moore, a CODA who was one of the first certified interpreters in Ohio.  My father began his speech, and at first when she began speaking simultaneously, I was taken aback—thinking it so rude of her to speak out loud while he was signing.  He was talking about the Deaf experience, the important contributions of Deaf people to society, the importance of the Home in caring for those Deaf individuals who were elderly, or Deaf with disabilities.   Slowly, I began to realize that she was putting into spoken English what my father was so eloquently signing.

I watched her in a state of disbelief and wonder—she was totally engaged.  Her body leaned forward slightly, her affect in concert with her vocal inflection as she focused so diligently to convey his emotion and intention.  She was completely attuned to him and his message. In a state of amazement, I looked around at the audience members and saw the respect they were extending to him as they listened intently to his remarks.  I was simply awe struck.

That experience impacted my core so deeply, it became one of my life defining moments.

I do not remember the specific details of what my father said that day, but I will always remember the way I felt—proud, humbled, surprised and inspired.  It was that day that I came to more fully appreciate that Deaf people have important things to say to the world and when they rely on interpreters to do that, interpreters have to be fully engaged.

A Professional Interpreter

Years passed and in 1972, when I was in my early 20’s, I became involved in interpreting through several family friends who were Deaf and encouraged me to step forward. This invitation was always accompanied with the rationale that my signing was “clear”—a seemingly simple word that I came to learn means much more from the Deaf perspective.  I was excited about the prospect of becoming an interpreter and shared with my parents that I had been extended the invitation.  They cautioned me that it was a career that might not suit me well due to my emotional and sensitive disposition.  They reminded me that Deaf people suffered many injustices and seeing that everyday could take a toll.  Although I appreciated their wise counsel and carried it with me, the desire for this level of engagement within the Deaf World exceeded their expressed concern.

The Deaf Community, through a state Association of the Deaf, sponsored me through a 10-week, intense interpreting program offered during the summer at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.  At the time, ten-weeks was longer than the majority of intense programs.  It was there that I was introduced to the prevailing conception of what it meant to be a professional interpreter.  Some of what was taught fit my existing conception of the work of interpreters—much did not.

For example, I was taught we were to function as if a machine or telephone—someone who simply took what they heard and expressed it in sign and took what they saw and expressed it in spoken English.  And there was great pressure to generate interpretations simultaneously.  We were taught that a good interpreter was one who ensured that Deaf people in an audience laughed at the precise moment as the rest of the audience.  This is what marked equality.

My desire for entry into the profession was great and so I worked hard to find ways to make the teachings “fit”.  Over time, the pressure to express the volume of information conveyed versus the meaning of the message took a toll on my language use.  My use of ASL diminished and was replaced with a more English-based approach to signing—transliteration versus interpretation.  I worked to be the best transliterator I could, believing that what I was doing was in the best interest of Deaf people.  And with this shift my early conception of what it meant to be an interpreter suffered.

Inaccurate Assumptions

It took me nearly a decade of practice to realize that much of what I was taught was simply faulty—based on inaccurate assumptions that fostered an unrealistic and inauthentic approach to our work.  What I was taught was based on two premises.  The first was that it was important that Deaf people learn to live in the hearing world and since English was the dominant language of that world, they needed to learn it.  To learn it, interpreters should use it.

The second premise was that interpreting was about creating equal footing—which is a standard often applied to spoken language interpreting and found in the language of the courts.  The intent of the standard is that the non-English speaking person should receive an interpretation that results in them being on equal-footing with their hearing counterpart—no more and no less.  It sounds like a reasonable premise.  However, in application, it is often used to promote a literal representation from one language to another.  And from this perspective there is heighted concern that anything other than a literal representation gives “more” to the non-English speaker than is fair or appropriate.

This standard seemed to work in limited situations.  Many of the Deaf leaders of that time were individuals who had become deaf after their acquisition of spoken English due to the meningitis or other cause.  They represented that portion of the Deaf World who most closely resembled the majority society.  This conception of the work of an interpreter—to generate an interpretation that was literalseemed to fit their needs, because they understood the hearing way of being. However, it was inherently faulty when applied to many of Deaf people I encountered in my everyday life. 

Equal Footing

This standard of equal footing is faulty because it assumes that other than having ears that do not hear, Deaf and hearing people have the same starting place. In reality, the starting place for the majority of Deaf people is significantly different than their hearing counterparts—even those who grow up speaking a language other than English.  Typically, Deaf people do not grow up in a family context where they acquire natural language.  In fact, most people who are Deaf begin school with significant language delays and strive to catch-up for many years.  Many experience information and language gaps for their entire life. Therefore, how could they be given “more” if they don’t have the “same” to begin with?

Our reality as interpreters is that we are often working with individuals whose starting place is so vastly different than their hearing counterparts that it is not possible to achieve equal footing within the moments of interpreting. Therefore, to be concerned about giving “more” is unnecessary.  The more accurate concern is whether we are giving enough to create meaningful access.

Another consequence of this conception of the work of professional interpreters is how we have applied the standard of impartiality or neutrality—it is expressed in the notion that we are like machines or should behave as if invisible.  This application has resulted in interpreters detaching from their work and from the consumers with whom they work. It has resulted in our assuming less and less responsibility and accountability for the interpretations we generate. This signals our lack of a deeper appreciation for what being neutral or impartial really means.

Fair Mindedness

To be objective or neutral means to be fair minded—to approach our work with the maturity necessary to have an open mind and to address the circumstances that are before us in a fair minded manner.  This means we are not invested in a specific outcome, but rather in creating the greatest degree of equality in the communication event as possible.  To achieve this fair mindedness, we must be attentive, engaged and fully dedicated to creating meaningful access.  Anything less would not be fair minded.

That instead our application of these concepts has resulted in our detachment from our work and consumers is unfortunate because my assumption is we all became involved in interpreting to make a positive contribution.   But, when our conception of our work and our practices and actions are in opposition to that intention, or promote self-interest and protection over consumer well-being, or lead to indifference, detachment, fear or complacency, we are out of integrity.  In these instances, our behavior and actions are oppressive.

Invisibility Paradigm

The faulty conception of interpreter as machine or interpreter as invisible inhibits authentic interactions that are based on more natural ways of human interaction.  It also limits Deaf people from having meaningful access in the broader society.  And the roots of the interpreter as invisible run deep.  Even interpreters who have come to appreciate that this model is an ineffective conception of our work still struggle to change their behavior and actions when interpreting.

Sometimes we work so hard to preserve the boundary of neutrality and objectivity by functioning in a detached and disinterested manner that we expend all of our energy, leaving nothing for the task of creating the authentic and natural connections necessary for linguistic access.  It is as if preserving detachment is our goal, rather than meaningful linguistic assess. Such applications of role are inherently faulty—it is simply not possible to be fully present, engaged and contributing to the creation of linguistic access and behave as if invisible.  It is counter-intuitive.  Thus, one of the reasons we often feel conflicted.

Part of the current discourse in the Deaf and interpreting communities relates to the fact that many individuals entering the field lack Deaf-heart, a state of awareness, respect and commitment that comes from being in authentic relationship with Deaf people.  We cannot put all the blame on these practitioners when the field’s conception of our work remains stuck in the invisibility/neutrality paradigm.  We collectively need to more fully conceptualize the work of interpreters!

And, in doing so, the bottom line is this—without authentic engagement, there is no commitment.  Let me emphasize this again.  If there is no engagement, there is no commitment.  We have to conceptualize our work in a way that ensures practitioners are fully engaged in what they are doing—that their focus, attention and energy are invested in being present and accountable for what they do.


We remain concerned with practitioners being overly involved in the interpreting interaction, fearing they will diminish the Deaf person’s power in the situation.  And although this is worthy of our attention, it should not over shadow the consequence of fostering detachment.  By over emphasizing concerns for possible over-involvement in interpreted interactions we have fostered under-involvement!  Practitioners fail to act in situations where they need to act.  This is where I see serious issues—particularly in my work as an expert in legal interpreting.

When analyzing the performance of interpreters—primarily during custodial interrogations—I have encountered too many instances where interpreters failed to apply a best practice.  For example, failing to use consecutive interpretation when it is the appropriate action, failing to inform consumers when the process is not working, failing to ask for clarification when they don’t understand.  It is common for interpreters to pass on information they do not fully understand by fingerspelling or generating some signed representation of the English expecting that the Deaf consumer should ask for clarification if needed.  But, we know that it is the interpreter who has the duty to understand.  If the interpreter is not willing to ask for clarification, why would the Deaf person?  These are just some of the ways that as interpreters we are under-involved in owning our work.

Social Construction

An authentic role conception must be based in the reality that our role is socially constructed—it occurs in the midst of human communication, within the particular social relationships and power struggles that exist in human interactions.  Although it is important that we continue to collaborate with spoken language interpreters, we cannot fully adopt their orientation to their work because it fails to recognize the inherent differences that exist when interpreting for people who are Deaf.  Our fuller conception of our role must take into account the life experiences of Deaf people.  Achieving this requires an appreciation that our role boundaries are contextual and must adjust depending on a variety of factors–including who are the specific individuals involved in the interaction.  One narrow application of boundary doesn’t fit all.  But, we are not yet at this point of role conception.

We must continue the exploration so that we more fully understand the intersection between what we know, what to do, how to do it and the WHY we do it.  It is authentic relationship with Deaf people that will inspire the desire part of this continued exploration. Our work is not yet done.  Thank you. 


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Carol Padden Joins StreetLeverage – Live 2014 Line-up

January 16, 2014:

Carol Padden PictureIt is with great excitement that we share Carol Padden has joined the StreetLeverage – Live 2014 speaker line-up.  Carol will be a great addition to the program and is sure to inspire.

Join Carol and other industry thought leaders for a weekend of discussion and critical thinking about how we understand, practice and tell the story of the sign language interpreter?

Read Carol’s bio here and connect with her on Facebook below.

Connect With the 2014 StreetLeverage – Live Speakers

Read speaker bios and more by clicking here.

Connect with the StreetLeverage – Live 2014 Speakers on FaceBook by clicking on their name. Carolyn BallMj BienvenuDoug Bowen-BaileyEileen Forestal, Tom Humphries, Robert G. LeeCarla MathersGina A. Oliva, Carol PaddenStacey McIntosh Storme, and Chris Wagner.

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StreetLeverage – Live 2014 Speaker Line-up

StreeLeverage - Live 2014 Speaker Line-upStreetLeverage - Live 2014 Speaker Line-upDecember 19, 2013:

We are excited to announce that we have largely finalized our speaker line-up for StreetLeverage – Live 2014 in Austin, TX May 1-4, 2014.

For the third year in a row we’ve scoured the field to spotlight those daring the field of sign language interpreting to think differently.

Join these thought leaders for a weekend of discussion and critical thinking about how we understand, practice and tell the story of the sign language interpreter?


Read speaker bios and more by clicking here.

Connect with these speakers on FaceBook by clicking on their name. Carolyn BallMj BienvenuDoug Bowen-BaileyEileen Forestal, Tom Humphries, Robert G. LeeCarla MathersGina A. OlivaStacey McIntosh Storme, and Chris Wagner.

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Dave Coyne | Social Justice: A New Model of Practice for Sign Language Interpreters?

Dave presented, Social Justice: A New Model of Practice for Sign Language Interpreters?, at StreetLeverage – Live 2013 | Atlanta. His talk explored how sign language interpreters, acting on the basis of social justice work, can better align themselves with the Deaf Community and their plight for autonomy.

You can find the PPT deck for is presentation here.

Interpreters and Social Justice

Today I will be discussing Social Justice and its connection to interpreters. Many people are not sure about this association. Regardless, we must not let fear prohibit discussions – truly open discussions – because it is those conversations that are at the heart of a social justice lens, which is achieved via leadership.

I would like to start by asking how many of you present would call yourself leaders? Raise your hands. I have asked this question to numerous groups of sign language interpreters and there never seems to be enough answering that they do. For me, I am not satisfied with these numbers and this lack actually increases my own work towards, and my motivation towards urging interpreters because now is the time to step up into leadership roles.

“We must be the change we want to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

This has been a recurring, inspirational theme, at StreetLeverage – Live. And I’m glad it has been. Indeed, we must be the change, we must think that “I am change”, and that “we are change.”

Lets look at why a social justice lens works. I know that when I first started working as an interpreter, I witnessed oppression of various types, even marginalization. Lets get a show of hands if you too have seen such types of oppression. We feel helpless while we witness these experiences.  We are at a loss for what to do. We feel confined by professional boundaries, we take in each of these experiences, and the impact takes its toll on us.  Answers to what actions interpreters could take and appropriate approach comes from this lens.

Social Justice and LeadershipDave Coyne at StreetLeverage - Live 2013 | Atlanta

A Social Justice Lens can be attained via leadership. It allows us to partner once again with Deaf community members. The bridge between the sign language interpreting community and the Deaf community fell apart long ago. We are aware of this disconnect. We feel its impact and we deal with its consequences while we are on the job. How can we correct this disconnect and start rebuilding this bridge to reconnect with the Deaf community?  Some may say the answer is to have a “Deaf heart.” However, it alone is not enough. Interpreters need to know what behaviors to showcase while we work. A social justice lens offers such specific social justice behaviors that we can implement while we work; interpreters finally can be more involved.

As interpreters we often navigate two truths: hearing perspectives and Deaf perspectives within situations. Social Justice is defined based on groups’ experiences regarding more burdens or fewer privileges than another groups.  Interpreters are indeed working within these unjust situations (e.g., educational systems, legal systems, healthcare). Systematic oppression exists and can further marginalize people. Oppression through ignorance occurs and unfortunately interpreters too have been known to add to oppression and marginalization experienced by Deaf individuals as well. So what do we do? Do we remove ourselves and remain uninvolved in such situations? Not any more, not with knowledge of a tool like leadership to achieve a social justice lens.

Social Justice Theory

Many conceptions related to social justice have been formulated over the years, e.g., criminal justice, retributive justice, and others. David Miller created a theory of social justice that is pluralistic in nature, allowing for multiple truths (i.e., perspectives) within situations – allowing for unique views to co-exist, i.e., multiple worldviews within situations. Sign language interpreters typically work with two worldviews: auditory understandings of the world and visual understandings of the world. Both being right, both very unique, but how are interpreters navigating these world-views? We find ourselves in the middle of situations, navigating – juggling – these overlapping ideologies.


A social justice lens is correlated with relationships. It actually is dependent upon relationships. This fact parallels with interpreting, because the art of interpreting is very much dependent upon relationships. Interpreters’ relationships with hearing participants are navigated in addition to relationships with Deaf participants. Interpreters’ relationships with team interpreters are involved; though it should not take priority. Relationships with Deaf individuals should take precedence. These examples parallel the same level of importance as a social justice lens has between majority and minority members’ relationships.

Social justice theory recognized that people do have experiences that include more burdens and that groups do have more privileges than other groups.  Finally we have something that recognizes these differences. We can begin discussions that offer vocabulary for behaviors, as well as our observations.

Exchanges between individuals need not be monetary with a social justice lens but recognizes people’s values and beliefs; their experiences are valued. These intangible things (values and beliefs) all have a home within a social justice model. Also, cultural capital: As interpreters we navigate two sets of cultural capitals that don’t always hold mutual respect for one another. Do we fully respect these non-monetary items? To answer, we must further investigate ourselves and apply our findings to our role.

Locations of Social Justice

Social justice can be found within three locations. Do you remember the Green Book series? Let’s revisit the three avenues to membership of the Deaf community. Not the fourth avenue to Deaf community membership, and not meaning membership to the core of the Deaf community. I am discussing general membership.  The fourth avenue is living as a Deaf individual or the actual experience of being Deaf in our world. As hearing interpreters we don’t have that fourth avenue, so we can keep focus on the first three. You can see that the first three align well within the three locations of social justice theory.  And it is within these locations where interpreters can begin dialogue about our work, and learn what behaviors are deemed important. Preferred social-related [solidaristic] behaviors can be attained and can mirror what behaviors Deaf people actually want from interpreters. Behaviors at work [instrumental] are those that occur at work, or in places such that lead to our employment, such as our ITP and events such as workshops. Again, the first location is where you find social behaviors, the second is related to our education, and the third is political behaviors [citizenship]. We are quick to think “what are those?” and they are indeed something we need to listen more to and learn how we as interpreters can be involved with political activities like being on a board, what voting can lead to, and what political power we have. As interpreters, we have a kind of privilege that we bring to the table and Deaf individuals want to see interpreters use privilege, i.e., hearing privilege, to benefit their forward movement [towards achieving equality], not to hinder it: this can be done by working together more closely, more so now then ever before.

Social Justice Learning

Dave Coyne
Dave Coyne

A social justice model is not inherently known but is rather learned based on other’s experiences. Interpreters do so by listening/learning during those discussions with those we work with. These conversations can occur one-on-one by simply asking stakeholders questions, or perhaps establishing a meeting at your agency and inviting Deaf community members to come in and share their opinions and experiences. Note these experiences and allow them to guide your role as an interpreter. This can also be done on a national level. A community forum offers those who are invited into conversations, a type of empowerment. Often people are misled, believing leadership cannot be learned and it is for others to do. It is thought that leaders are aiming to change the world today, but this is simply not true. Unfortunately this type of change doesn’t happen the day of. Change is a long process that we contribute to, adding towards a goal. Leaders sleep knowing they contributed to a process in a good way, no longer worried they caused negative effects on others. This is because leaders take a close look at who they are, at their own specific behaviors (within specific areas that we are talking about: social, employment, and political behaviors).


There are various forms of leadership out there. Social justice theory goes with one of them and on the other end of the continuum (far from supporting social justice) there is a type that is seen plenty of within our field.

Transactional leadership in the interpreting field has been borrowed directly from business models. This type of leadership has immediate consequences and impacts those involved.  An example of transactional leadership would be if two partners enter into mutually agreed upon transactions; they seek to simply finish their task and that is the end of their collaboration. Past the completion of the test, there is not any further investment of one’s time; it is not needed because the task coming to an end was what they wanted.

I want to discuss what leads to a social justice lens, how one achieves a social justice lens, and how it serves as an end by means of transformational leadership. The key to this type of leadership is having true collaboration as the main priority, where much empowerment occurs, and everything achieved is done so through discussions. The transformational leader listens to others. Those involved must support the leader’s behavior and if they do not, this type of leadership fails.

Transactional Leadership

First, I would like to further discuss transactional leadership. A significant amount of interpreting situations has this type of leadership. This type holds many positive attributes with business transactions. However, when working with people who have a significant amount of daily struggles, this type of leadership hinders forward movement and furthers misunderstandings. People who go into situations with their own set agendas are found in this model, e.g., interpreters who work simply to get paid and no further thought about others happens after the encounter.

For the individuals who are under a transactional leadership model, perhaps even unaware that their behaviors are more transactional in nature, they don’t necessarily have to share any organizational goals nor do they need to for exchanges to occur under a transactional leadership model. For example, if we look at two similar businesses, perhaps they are a chain within a franchise, each have different owners but may have different priorities within their business and different goals than their sister stores. They have the same type of exchanges, based on money, selling the same products; however, they may serve people very differently. This parallels with the business of providing interpreting services. Interpreters are not obligated to follow organizational goals/values to guide their work; in lieu of, you may find self-interest that guides them.

People working within a transactional leadership model operate by holding control. They provide praises, rewards, and punishments to those working with them (traits of transactional leadership).

There are some transactional leadership traits considered positive. These include having fast results and immediate closure with tasks.  As long as set goals by those involved are achieved within situations, they can consider the task completed. There are people out there who want that set up.

Transactional leaders encourage others involved through controlling methods; setting clear steps for people to follow, deeming an assignment successful if they merely follow A, B, and C (not leaving set parameters). This set up lends for transactional leaders to be very strict. If you do not follow their set protocol, they may retaliate, e.g., may not hire you again, they may withhold pay, they may challenge to the point of furthering any type of resolve regarding concerns you have with them. The transactional model also fosters the mindset of ‘I merely work for compensation.’ Those involved in this model are told to accept set circumstances created by transactional leaders and this process contributes to colonialism (in general) and specifically toward the colonization of those involved.

Transformational Leadership

Now I will be shifting gears to the other end of the spectrum: transformational leadership. Much research has been conducted over the years and has noted that transformational leaders typically display four types of characteristics; known as the four Is of transformational leadership. The first today, [individual considerations], interpreters do quite frequently. Interpreters have been known to already incorporate these components of transformational leadership within their work but are yet to use the vocabulary to employ these concepts to their work.

Trait One – Analysis

First, lets talk about individual considerations. As interpreters we analyze various language modes, attempt to identify educational levels, and match others where they are at regarding language use (both hearing and Deaf participants). Interpreters navigate situations mainly within this trait, and we do it well.

Trait Two – Intellectual Stimulation

The second transformational leadership trait is intellectual stimulation. If we believe that everyone in the world brings value, then we can be open to others to problem solve. Let’s not think that we, as interpreters, have better ideas to problem solve than Deaf community members. What interpreters can do is to collaborate with Deaf members regarding what they think are better approaches to problems and ask Deaf people what they feel should be done in situations. And listen to them; listen more than taking action independently. Deaf people have ideas and answers that interpreters need to value.

Trait three: Inspirational Motivation

The third transformational leadership trait is inspirational motivation. Interpreters must be able to share field goals and visions with others to the point where it draws others in and they incorporate them too. Negative behaviors, e.g. gossip, pessimism, blame, complaining, do not warrant other’s investment in our work. Those negative behaviors do not shine well on the field’s goals and visions. Interpreters must manipulate those negative behaviors to work more optimistically.

Trait four: Idealized Influence

The fourth, and last transformational trait is idealized influence. This is the ability to influence as well as shape our vision and to lead us to actually achieving our vision, our shared vision. Currently, as a field, we do not have the four transformational traits and, to note, they are usually ordered and discussed in a different order. I flipped their usual ordering in todays discuss because the fourth, idealized influence, i.e., shared vision, isn’t something established in our field yet. We have been more focused on individuals, and have mastered skill-sets within the first trait, individualized considerations; however, we haven’t come to attaining a shared idealized influence.


Transformational leadership can promote participants’ goals and wants. It can be a humbling experience. It’s humbling because we have our degrees, we hold the knowledge, and we attained certification. We ‘know what is best in situations’, but now I am to inquire about wants such as where you want the interpreter to sit?  With transformational leadership, we aim to empower and remove control. Lets think of the word control, I really hate that word.  People can control cars; we do so by first turning it on. We control its features. We control all the functions of the car. Now, we cannot control the city though.  But we do navigate through the city.  Interpreters navigate through job assignments; we navigate through the interpreting process. We don’t control anything.  We must surrender any control we think we have. We must surrender control; we never had it anyways nor will we ever have it.

Through discussions, through listening to others – to other’s valuable stories – we can begin to identify defects in the status quo. We do this by truly listening to others. We cannot assume we know. My privilege may not allow me to see much. Many experiences continue to be overlooked. This ignorance may continue until we are truly able to live in other’s shoes. But I know I can’t. I am not Deaf. So what I am able to do is to take time to listen to their experiences, as many as you can.

The Pros

Transformational leadership has positive attributes. A pro for this leadership style is that if an organization needs change, transformational leadership has actions that can offer change. It does this by its grassroots approach and allows the people involved taking back control and it requires us interpreters to step back and empower others. Secondly, transformational leadership is focused on satisfying the needs and wants of stakeholders, this continuous collaborating and navigating ensures their needs and wants are being met. It is about interpreters thinking less about themselves.

The Cons

A con: transformational leadership does not offer fast results. It requires time. Change requires time. I may not see it in my lifetime, but I do hope that my vision will happen. I believe that my vision of equality will happen. It may take a long time; I realize it will not any time soon. Additionally, transformational leadership does not have a roadmap to follow. If the end is for true equality, we will not know how to specifically achieve that goal, but – we move towards our goals by working together, have creative solutions, and work toward true collaboration. I do not know how it will all unfold. Not having a roadmap is unsettling for many; they must have an A, B and C to follow. People like to be told how to get the things that they want.  But I can’t ask for such a thing within this model, we simple can’t ask.


We work within unjust situations that are simply unfair at times. We are within situations that a social justice lens, via transformational leadership, would do well in. The goal of transformational leadership is to empower others. If the goal of like-minded groups of people is working together then it is possible to overcome barriers, such as political agendas. Just as gay and lesbian individuals are together fighting a larger battle with other people, e.g., straight allies, their parents, their children, come together and have the power to change political agendas. This is the same with the Deaf community.  We shouldn’t think the Deaf community should fight battles alone. Where are interpreters in all this? We need to continually listen, to learn how we can be involved, e.g., support.

With this, the bridge between the Deaf community and the interpreting community can begin to be mended. We can re-connect once again, but to do so sign language interpreters must empower others. First, it must begin with conversations. We must inquire from outside of our field.  It can begin now when you all leave today and arrive home. Ask your Deaf friends and ask those you work with (hearing and Deaf). Ask them “what do you think our job should look like?” and “what would you want from an interpreter?.” We are not seeking to please every request of interpreters but the inquiry is a start; start these discussions and brainstorm ideas with stakeholders.

“Transformational leaders don’t start by denying the world around them.  Instead, they describe a future they’d like to create instead.” –Seth Godin

Transformational leaders do not deny what is around them. They take the world as is, and evaluate it, acknowledging, and assessing one’s own involvement. Interpreters must be able to describe what kind of future they want. Can you describe to your neighbors, friends, and Deaf community members your vision? Can you think how behaviors, specific behaviors, may get you to that vision?

Today’s presentation was regarding social justice lens via leadership, this afternoon’s workshop will be more about leadership and specific behaviors based on the 4 Is of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership traits, some that interpreters already show within their work, can surface vocabulary to be applied to our professional role. Again, it starts with having discussions with Deaf individuals. This can be done locally, in your own area, but this involvement also can be done on a national level. RID’s Deaf Caucus will have a national forum this year. We can sit in and learn from the experiences that will be shared and then begin forward momentum, together.


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Debra Russell | Sign Language Interpreters: Discover & Recover an Enduring Legacy

Deb presented, Sign Language Interpreters: Discover & Recover and Enduring Legacy, at StreetLeverage – Live 2013 | Atlanta, GA. Her talk encouraged sign language interpreters to consider the opportunity before them to uncover, discover, and recover the gifts from previous leaders in the field.  Further, Deb explored how interpreters can emulate the traits of these leaders in their own actions in order to leave a legacy of meaning.

You can find the PPT deck for her presentation here.


Sign Language Interpreter Deb Russell - StreetLeverage - Live 2013 | Atlanta
Debra Russell

I am from Canada and we have a way of opening a meeting, which is to thank and recognize that we are standing on ground previously owned by the Aboriginal people.  I also want to open this talk by thanking and recognizing the Deaf community, who taught me their language, culture and their experience of seeing the world. So thank you to my local Deaf community and the communities across Canada. I am fortunate, as I have the opportunity to travel widely in Canada and throughout the world, which means many Deaf communities have taught me, while sharing their experiences with me.  Thank you to the CODAs, many of you in this room have taught me about your life experience, and I thank each of you.  We have one CODA here today from Canada, Janice, thank you for sharing your insights and helping me envision what each of us can do.  I never attended or graduated from an interpreter training program – the Deaf community taught me how to interpret, and they still do teach me, helping me understand how to match what they expect, prefer, and want to have happen with interpreters from their point of view. Based on that experience, I share this talk.

Importance of Looking Back

Now, my topic is about understanding our legacies and why it is crucial to look back.  If we don’t understand our histories, we are destined to continue to make errors, and lose our way.  I think it is important to look back and identify those who lead us, taught us, and ask if we need to find ways to embrace their teachings in a healthy way.  Understand that I have been given twenty minutes, which means it is impossible to recognize all of the leaders that have contributed at the local, state or provincial, or national or international levels.  So I have chosen some key people – people who have taught me and key people who have contributed greatly to our profession, and some that are still contributing. You may look at the list today and point out those I have not mentioned – to those people, I thank them for their contributions and hope they will accept my apologies for not including them today.

As I began the research for this presentation, I thought it was important to uncover the stories, the many positive stories that we can continue to learn from. For example, we can learn about our successes, and how we define success.  If we forget those stories then we ultimately block our future success.  It can prevent us from setting goals, and making progress on those goals that can result in improving our profession.  So today is a chance to look back and see what those people contributed to our field and what we must learn from their legacy.

A legacy can be defined as our history, and also how we remember a person, or what we pass on to others.  A legacy can be positive or negative – it is for you to decide.

Lilian Beard

I start with Lilian Beard.  As I look out at the audience, as soon as Lilian’s photo came up, you immediately smiled.  Why?  How do we remember Lilian? Many of you never had the chance to meet her, but we have a collective memory of her many contributions to our field.  How many of you remember her from 2009 at RID in Philadelphia, regaling us with story after story and everyone in the audience being captivated by her.  Her contributions are numerous.  This quote speaks volumes:

“…our friendship (with Deaf people) was never affected because they knew I was always there to support them.”

She was a CODA and this quote speaks to her relationship with the Deaf community, how she was always there to support the Deaf community. My question is this: are we still supporting Deaf people in the same way?  If Lilian were here today, what advice would she offer us?  How would she guide us in solving problems? Remember what she said when she started the Texas chapter – she began by talking with Deaf people, with, not talking to, not talking about, but talking with Deaf people.  She was a wise woman and that sage advice still is true for us today.

As I remember Lilian, I am struck by the following characteristics: humble – she was indeed 100% humble, and she was collaborative, with interpreters, Deaf people and people who were not involved in the Deaf community.  Her big heart was open to everyone.  I think she had a Deaf heart – well before we began talking about what it means to have a Deaf heart – she demonstrated what it meant.  She also knew the value of recognizing and thanking people for their contributions.  She did so much, but one key event was her role in creating the Texas Registry of Interpreters.  She admitted that she didn’t know how to create an organization so she found someone who knew how to do that and engaged their support.

“I did not do it myself, but I found someone who knew how to create the registry…”

“I think my strong suit was giving acknowledgement to people in the right proportions…”

This is similar to what Anna Witter-Merithew mentioned on Friday night at this conference – each of us must find allies, collaborators, and supporters in order to be successful.  As I said, Lilian’s strength was to recognize and thank others for their service and contributions.  I wonder, if we were take a good look at ourselves now, does our profession currently recognize the contributions of others?  Or, are we so busy complaining, that we are forgetting to recognize and thank people?  Lilian was a founding member of RID in 1964, which is well before some of you here were born!  As a founding member, what was her vision for the organization?  Maybe our organization has gone through many changes, however one of the original visions was to build the organization with Deaf people, and that Deaf people would remain integral in the organization.

Lou Fant

Lou Fant – same response as when you looked at Lilian’s photo.  We all remember him with such fondness and affection.  Let’s look at some of Lou’s characteristics, and there are many of note!  For me, Lou was a pioneer.  He forged a way for us, leading us without us knowing he was leading us!  He was also a CODA, and also very humble.  He had a Deaf heart, and for me, he was a teacher, and a builder – a builder of organizations and a people-builder.  He constantly encouraged us to improve as individuals and as organizations.  Those traits are all things that we should value and strive to emulate.  I went back and re-read Lou’s obituary and this line so resonated with me: “Lou Fant heard the Deaf with his heart.”  That line says it all.  Lou listened to the Deaf community with his heart, which says everything to me.  Lou, like Lilian, was a CODA and he loved sign language.  As I recall Lou, he stressed that we must treasure American Sign Language – and not the version of ASL that many of us as interpreters use, but the way Deaf people use their language!  His first book, AMESLAN, is a book I still have on my shelf.  It is also very interesting for me to see that some Deaf leaders and teachers throughout Canada and the US are talking about their community as an Ameslan community, not as a Deaf community, but rather an Ameslan community.  Lou gave generously of his time to create organizations like RID, CIT, the National Theatre of the Deaf, and the list of contributions and successes goes on.  Despite his long legacy, Lou never boasted of his involvement in our field.

1.  RID certification – reasonable alternative to contract with an agency that specialized in devising, administering and scoring examinations…

2.  Two important benefits to us:

–   RID no vested interest, certification on more objective footing 

–   Home office staff and local affiliate personnel would be freed up to attend to what ought to be the main business of RID, fostering the professional growth in all of us…

Sometimes I wonder what Lou would advise us to do about our current challenges with certification.  While his book, Silver Threads, is over 25 years old, I think his comments then about certification are food for thought for us today.  We are still debating certification all these years later, but Lou’s idea was to take certification out of our organization and put it into the hands of an organization that specializes in assessment. Doing so would leave the RID staff with the time to focus on the business of RID:  to promote the development and growth of our profession.  Interesting, isn’t it?

Anna Witter-Merithew

Many people have contributed to the development of our profession, and throughout that process there were others that also recognized the value of creating an organization for interpreter educators.  I know that many were involved in that movement; however, I have chosen Anna Witter-Merithew, who is with us today.  I could use the whole 20 minutes to talk about Anna’s contributions, but the point is this:  she has been actively involved in RID, serving multiple terms as President and Vice-President.  She has served as the President of CIT twice.  She has developed curriculum for teaching interpreters, she has created interpreter education programs, and more recently we note her work in the area of ethics and decision-making.  She is nothing short of an amazing leader and an amazing contributor.

MJ Bienvenu

Let’s look at MJ Bienvenu, who is still so actively involved. As I look back on my 30 years in the field, MJ has been present everywhere – RID, CIT, and more!  MJ is one who deeply understands the Deaf experience, equality and what it means to meaningfully include Deaf people in a movement.  How would we define her? I think as an activist, an activist with the goal of equality.

“It’s about… Love for justice and equality for all. Love for basic human rights. Love for civil rights for all people…”

 Nov 7, 2012  Planet Deaf Queer

Many of you will have studied the “green books,” so you know her face, or remember her involvement in the Deaf President Now movement. She was also the co-founder of the TBC during 1997.  That organization was the first organization to bring interpreters and Deaf people together to have conversations about power, and what was happening between the sign language interpreting and Deaf communities.  She is a phenomenal leader!

Betty Colonomos

As our field developed and we saw the emergence of many interpreting businesses, others questioned whether a business model was what was most effective for our field.  Betty Colonomos was one of those people, and she found a way to create a business that also valued and embedded Deaf culture into every aspect of the business.  Again, we can see that Betty has persisted in contributing to the community, and after 30 plus years, she is continuing to write, present, teach, and encourage us to reflect deeply.  Her interpreting model is one that is taught daily in programs across this country.   Her work with the Etna group is teaching the next generation to be reflective practitioners.  Her contributions are countless.

Ed Bosson

Another example of someone who has contributed hugely to our field is Ed Bosson.  Ed is known as the  “father of VRS,” and there is no doubt that technology has dramatically changed our profession.  We need to thank Ed for his vision of what equal communication access for Deaf people could be.  He has impacted each of us.

Have We Lost Our Way?

But sometimes I wonder, like Shane Feldman said this weekend, if its like driving a car aimlessly – and sometimes we simply are lost.  Have we lost some of those key characteristics that our previous leaders so generously modeled for us?  Now we see more and more interpreters obsessing about the financial aspects of being interpreters, and not thinking about contributing. We also see tensions among our colleagues, and camps that have emerged.  Yesterday, Nancy Blanchard spoke of the tension between the concepts of business and service.  Is business the primary driver, or is service?  Additionally, our relationship with the Deaf community appears to be fading, and our relationship with each other as colleagues is changing.


Can we recover some of those traits?  My answer is a resounding yes!  As we have heard yesterday and today, one of the first things we can do to recover as a profession is to regain our relationship with the Deaf community, in meaningful ways, not just to discuss business practices but to connect to the heart of the community.  Another action we can all take is to commit to leadership with integrity, leadership with honesty.  We can also all commit to everyday doing something that will improve our community.  We sometimes speak of wanting to change the world, change our organizations, and change the field.  But let’s shift that attention inward, where maybe we have to start changing ourselves first.  We can take action that will result in positive change, and everyday that requires us to do something with the possibilities in front of us.  You can take actions such as acting as an ally, which requires that you continue to have hope.

Deb Russell StreetLeverage Live - Power GraphicThis next slide comes from some research that my friend and colleague Risa Shaw and I are doing related to power and legal interpreting.  I think the model is relevant to this conversation.  We need to explore what it is we envision when we talk about the task of interpreting.  Do we see interpreting as merely the act of relaying words and signs, and see ourselves as passive? Or, do we see interpreting as something that requires us to be actively involved in the Deaf community, supporting Deaf people, and looking carefully at our decisions and actions that can oppress Deaf people?  The model shows a “sense of agency,” which speaks to the inner control where we have to take responsibility for the work, for our profession, and ultimately for each other.  It’s a huge discussion.  And finally, the model addresses training.  How are we teaching interpreters? I am an interpreter educator and I am nervous about how we teach interpreters now.  All three of the circles on the slide feed into the area of “power” and that’s been our discussion this weekend.  How do we share power?  How do we recognize our power and acknowledge the impact of negative power?  I think if we explore these areas in depth we can recover, as a field.

“I have felt several emotions as I wrote this book: joy, dismay, excitement, anger, and hope… Joy because of how much we have accomplished; anger at our inability to make decisions… and hope for our success.  The one emotion I did not, nor do not feel, is despair…”  P. 89

The above quote is from Lou’s book, where he talks about the many emotions that surfaced during the writing process, and Lou stressed that never once did he feel despair, which represents his ability to maintain hope as an ally.  I think each of us here at StreetLeverage – Live | Atlanta feels that same sense of hope – I know that I very much feel that sense of hope from this event, and feel hope from each of you.

Connect and Collaborate

6 Steps to Becoming an Ally – Heather Bishop  (2002)

1. Understand roots of oppression

2. Understand different oppressions – similarities & differences

3. Consciousness & healing

4. Working for own liberation

5. Becoming an Ally

6. Maintaining Hope

Sometimes our students learn this material from Bishop, from her book entitled “Becoming an Ally.”  I appreciated Anna’s comments yesterday about the stages of “becoming,” and while we may not be there yet, we are “becoming.”  So, we are learning all over again how to connect and collaborate, and thus how to become an ally.  Bishop’s last three steps talk about healing and consciousness raising, and that certainly has been our focus this weekend.  When we look at the step, “becoming an ally,” we need to ask what does that look like from the Deaf community’s point of view, and what does it mean for interpreters, and CODAs?  That will require a great deal of conversation and dialogue. The final step of maintaining hope is our job!

Your Legacy

What lies ahead is an opportunity for us to uncover, discover, and recover the gifts from our previous leaders’ many contributions, and to look at how we can emulate their traits in our actions.  As a graduate of WADS University – remember that is Lou’s phrase, “Watch and Do the Same,” I graduated from that university – I watched our leaders and found ways to copy their actions and that is where we can find hope!  So now I ask each of you to think about what your legacy will be for this field.  You have an opportunity to change yourself and change the field.

What will your contribution be?

Thank you.


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Betty Colonomos - Sign Language Interpreters and the Quest for a Deaf Heart
Betty Colonomos

Sign Language Interpreters Fostering Integrity

Betty explores how we want to believe that all professionals providing services to our citizens uphold the highest standards of integrity. To maintain public and collegial trust and safety, professions have mechanisms such as peer review boards, licensure, censure, and mandatory supervision to deal with those who violate these standards. Does Sign Language interpreting demonstrate professional integrity? Can we call ourselves a profession without effective measures to ensure integrity of our practitioners?

Pre-event Dialogue

Please take opportunity to dialogue with Betty on this topic prior to the event by submitting comments below.

Workshop | Building a Path to Integrity

Integrity, like most other social concepts, is culturally defined. When we live and work in more than one culture, the tenets of integrity become blurred. In this workshop we will discuss the meaning of ‘integrity’ and then examine the ways in which we demonstrate or violate the tenets of integrity in our profession. Through group activities we will posit changes we might make to communicate among ourselves and with our consumers/clients these values of integrity. We will also consider the ways in which we can incorporate these markers of integrity into our professional code and our literature.

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Anna Witter-Merithew
Anna Witter-Merithew

Learning to Collaborate: Tools for Sign Language Interpreters to Increase Their Scope of Influence

This insightful session is designed to improve the communication and collaboration skills of interpreters who work as part of collaborative teams. Through the use of assessment tools, games, role-playing and case study analysis. This two and a half-hour session will focus on communication styles, how different styles are manifested during communication and collaboration, and how to adapt to a range of communication style differences in order to be a more effective member of the educational team.

Post Event Dialogue

Take opportunity to keep the dialogue going.  For those interested, please find the PPT deck from Anna’s presentation.

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Where Does Advocacy Fit in the Sign Language Interpreting Profession?

Shane will examine how upholding standard practices, partnering with colleagues and local leadership, staying abreast of current trends and legislative developments, and collaborating with professional organizations can position sign language interpreters to better support the collective solutions that will support the profession long-term.

Shane Feldman - RID Executive Director
Shane Feldman

Pre-event Dialogue

Please take opportunity to dialogue with Shane on this topic prior to the event by submitting comments below.

Workshop | Cultivating Excellence in Interpreting Through Collective Individual Advocacy

Shane will share successful advocacy strategies that will enable sign language interpreters to set the direction of their interpreting journey as well as the sign language interpreting profession. He will highlight the challenges that lie before us and how interpreters can responsibly uphold their commitment to a world where the interaction between a person who uses a signed language and a person who uses a spoken language has an experience that is equivalent to the linguistic and human interaction that occurs with direct communication. The shared advocacy strategies will enhance each individuals contribution to a global collective approach in achieving the standards that define excellence in interpreting. 

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Stephanie Feyne
Stephanie Feyne

Authenticity: The Impact of a Sign Language Interpreter’s Choices

What does it mean to be “authentic” when we communicate with others? How do interpreters present an “authentic” representation of someone’s message? How do we determine if we can produce interpretations that present individuals as their authentic selves? What is the impact of the choices we make? Can interpreters produce authentic interpretations in all venues or are there limits?

This talk covers theory from linguistic anthropology and interpretation studies on interaction and the impact of interpreting choices. Information from new research on the impact of interpreting on perceptions of Deaf professionals will be included. In addition, the history of interpreter selection will be examined – how interpreters have moved from being selected by the community to self-selecting for work to agency-selection. What are the impacts of this shift? How can interpreters work to align with consumers in providing interpretation that represents Deaf individuals as authentic conversants?

Pre-event Dialogue

Please take opportunity to dialogue with Stephanie on this topic prior to the event by submitting comments below.

Workshop | Authentic Interpreting: How Interpreting Choices Affect the Perception of Deaf Speakers

When you listen to professionals speak, what is it that makes them sound knowledgeable and competent? When we interpret for a professional Deaf person do they also sound knowledgeable and competent? Our personal style and repertoire have an impact not only on what we sound like to others, but how we make Deaf people sound. How do we ensure that the Deaf professional is represented as authentic and credible?

In this workshop we will explore some of the challenges in and strategies for interpreting from ASL into spoken English, especially when working in professional settings. Topics will include: theories of communication, register, and structures in ASL that are vastly different from those in English (such as reported/constructed dialog, constructed action, repetition, tense continuity, and representation of culturally specific knowledge).

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StreetLeverage – Live 2014 in Austin, TX

StreetLeverage - Live 2014 | AustinMarch 10, 2013:

StreetLeverage is excited to announce that it will be hosting StreetLeverage – Live 2014 in Austin, TX.

May 1 – 4, 2014 will be a 3 1/2 day convergence of thought leaders from around the sign language interpreting industry to foster idea sharing, dialogue, and proactive thinking in order to propel the field forward.

You can find some of the early event info below:


Austin Marriott  North
2600 La Frontera Blvd
Round Rock, TX 78681

To book online, click here. If you have trouble, call Marriott at 800.865.0546.

Nightly Rate

A room block has been reserved at a rate of $159.00 (single or double occupancy) for event attendees. This rate, subject to availability, will be extended to attendees through April 20, 2014. Please note that in-room Internet and onsite parking are complimentary.

We encourage attendees that are traveling from out of the area, and even those local, to take advantage of the convenience of staying in the event hotel.

The Program

The StreetLeverage – Live 2014 program of events is still being finalized. Click these links to view our speaker line-upschedule and sponsors.

2014 Registration Fees

Thank you for your interest in attending StreetLeverage – Live. The registration fee only covers conference admittance and does not include hotel accommodation, travel, transportation or any other charges. Please find a schedule of the 2014 registration fees by clicking here.

Refund Policy

There will be no penalty for cancellations received on or before the date 21 days prior to the first day of StreetLeverage – Live. The full amount paid minus a $40 processing fee will be refunded.

A cancellation fee of 50% of registration costs will be applied for cancellations received between 20 through 10 days before the event.

No refund will be issued for cancellations received less than 10 days before the first day of the event.

All cancellations must be sent in writing via e-mail to Brandon Arthur. Please email cancellations and expect confirmation within four business days.

StreetLeverage is not responsible for problems beyond our control (i.e. weather, traffic, etc). No refunds will be given in these situations. The final determination on refunds rests with Brandon Arthur.


For directions click here.  A hired car to or from the airport is approximately $50.00 (one way).

The hotel suggests using Ace Taxi. 512.244.1133 |


For local dining options click here (note, there is an onsite Starbucks).

Continuing Education                                                                                                                                     RID CMP Logo

StreetLeverage – Live has access to both an approved BEI and RID CMP Sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. Earn up to 2.3 Professional and General Studies CEUs at the Little/None and Some Content Knowledge levels.

* Only registered attendees submitting documentation and evaluation are eligible to receive CEU credit.

Please contact Brandon Arthur for inquires on specific onsite policies related to earning CEU credit.

Language Pledge

The official language of StreetLeverage – Live is American Sign Language (ASL). To that end, all program sessions and activities at StreetLeverage – Live  will be delivered in ASL. No English interpretation will be provided.

Photo Release

Attendees need to be aware that there will be photographers and videographers present during StreetLeverage – Live. By attending the event, attendees consent to be photographed and recorded. StreetLeverage will do its best to honor attendee requests to not be included in the photo and video coverage. Requests to be excluded, where possible, from the photo and video coverage must be made in writing. Requests must be received not less than 10 business days prior to the event and include a current photo. All requests should be sent to Brandon Arthur.

Event Cancellation

Should StreetLeverage have to cancel StreetLeverage – Live, attendees may choose to receive a 100% refund or to transfer their registration to the next StreetLeverage event. Registered attendees will be notified of the conference cancellation by StreetLeverage via the email submitted during the registration process.

Special Accommodations

Please email Brandon Arthur to inquire about special accommodation policies.