Articles by BRENDA CARTWRIGHT

Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

Interpreter Q & A: Letting Interpreter Credentials Lapse

By Brenda Cartwright
Thursday, April 2, 2015

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I haven’t seen a particular interpreter at any workshops or conferences literally for years now. I know she doesn’t care about getting CEUs or losing her certification. She says "everyone knows my skills and will hire me anyway." Sure enough, she lost her certification and she's still out there interpreting all the time, and still charging top dollar. No one ever asks to see her card. It's business as usual, which is so frustrating for those of us who put in all the time and money into following the CMP program in a timely manner. Apparently, the rules don't apply to everyone, so why do we bother? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter 4-1-1: Tax Tips for Interpreters

Interpreter 4-1-1: Tax Tips for Interpreters

By Brenda Cartwright
Monday, March 9, 2015

Interpreters often do a lot of freelance / independent contractor work, and receive a Form 1099 at the end of the year to report their compensation.  When you are self-employed and do independent contractor work, there are several tax deductions that you can take advantage of. Hopefully you have already been preparing yourself and organizing your taxes. Just in case you need it, here are some helpful hints...
Interpreting 4-1-1: Guidelines to Help Interpreters When Doing Pro Bono Work

Interpreting 4-1-1: Guidelines to Help Interpreters When Doing Pro Bono Work

By Brenda Cartwright
Thursday, December 4, 2014

By offering pro bono services, interpreters are enriched professionally and personally. This is something interpreters should all do on a regular basis.  Pro bono work is an important part of professional development and it is a great way to help others in need, provide a gift to thank others, and give back to your community.
Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Being Successful in an Interpreter Training Program

Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Being Successful in an Interpreter Training Program

By Brenda Cartwright
Monday, October 20, 2014

This article is specifically for Interpreters in Training. Interpreter Training Programs are both challenging and rewarding.  It is really up to the student to make the most of the Interpreter Training Program (ITP).  The more passionate and hard working you are, the more rewarding the experience will be. Think for a moment about your definition of success. What does a successful person do? What does a successful person think? What does a successful person believe? How will you ensure that your time in your Interpreter Training Program is successful? What changes will you need to make? Here are 5 tips for being successful in an Interpreter Training Program...
Interpreter 4-1-1: Prepare Your 10-Second Interpreter Elevator Pitch

Interpreter 4-1-1: Prepare Your 10-Second Interpreter Elevator Pitch

By Brenda Cartwright
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Interpreters often have just seconds to explain what we do to professional people who don’t really care. Say you just entered the elevator with the doctor of the deaf patient on the way up to the appointment.  What would you say? What’s your “elevator pitch?” Try it out. Time yourself. Can you get it out in 10 seconds?
Interpreter Q & A: Are Piercings Ok for Interpreters?

Interpreter Q & A: Are Piercings Ok for Interpreters?

By Brenda Cartwright
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Interpreter Q & A asks: Last week, while team interpreting in a post-secondary setting, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed a shiny metal ball bouncing around on my partner’s tongue. I found it very distracting and fascinating at the same time. Every time she opened her mouth it was all I could see. I know our Deaf client noticed it too, because when she was called on in class she admitted she was not concentrating, and asked if the professor could please repeat the question. My question is – do I say something to my partner or wait for the Deaf client to say something to her? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Job Hunting as an Interpreter

Interpreter 4-1-1: 5 Tips for Job Hunting as an Interpreter

By Brenda Cartwright
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today applications for new jobs are increasingly offered exclusively via websites. With social media and our entire lives online most employers know quite a bit about you, including your reputation and writing skills, before they ever meet you face to face.  References have also become more important as references are sometimes the first people that interviewers speak to. Are you representing yourself well? How do you decide who to ask for a reference? Here are 5 tips for laying the foundation for your job hunting and finding a good recommender...
Interpreter Q & A: How to Handle Rude Clients

Interpreter Q & A: How to Handle Rude Clients

By Brenda Cartwright
Monday, July 7, 2014

This Interpreter Q & A asks: In the post-secondary setting where I interpret, one particular Deaf student frankly doesn’t have much in the way of social skills. She is just plain mean to everyone and it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing to be around her. She’s either rude or inappropriate or both. Her hearing classmates, upon meeting their first real live Deaf person, try to be friendly, but, more often than not, walk away completely turned off. Please don’t tell me to just not take assignments where she is the client; as a staff interpreter, we don’t always have that choice. She knows she’s a "challenge." I suspect she gets off on it! This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter Q & A: Is It Better to Be Late or Wet?

Interpreter Q & A: Is It Better to Be Late or Wet?

By Brenda Cartwright
Monday, June 9, 2014

This Interpreter Q & A asks: Which is better in your opinion — to be a few minutes late for an interpreting job when it is pouring rain or to show up on time, but soaking wet? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter Q & A: Interpreter Credentials

Interpreter Q & A: Interpreter Credentials

By Brenda Cartwright
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This Interpreter Q & A asks: It just so happens that I’ve been collecting interpreter business cards for a long time now and I’m convinced that anyone and everyone these days can call themselves an "interpreter" without any credentials to back up their claim. Truth be told, our consumers aren’t always familiar with all our acronyms and the terminology we use for certification levels, so they can be easily misled. Here are some examples of titles I have in my collection from non-certified "interpreters" out there: "ASL Interpreter," "State Certified Interpreter," "ITP Graduate," "Freelance Interpreter," "Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired," and my favorite… "Hearing Impaired Interpreter"… this was a hearing person!