Visual Description: Caucasian woman with asymmetrical salt and pepper hair stands in front of a marble staircase with black railings. She is wearing a dark purple shirt with a colorful green scarf over her shoulders.
We are nearing the end of Day 2 here at WASLI with any number of topics ranging from Gestuno/International Sign, how and if other countries have established interpreting programs, study abroad, etc. The greatest advantage has come from challenging those assumptions we drag along with us from our lived experience and start to shed some light on what we thought we knew. We need to decide if what experience has taught us is still accurate and if our ideas still serve us well.
This kind of conference is the best way to reconsider what the world actually looks like. Instead of assuming that the American way is just the way it is and that's all there is to be said about that, we can humbly learn that in other countries there are no hearing teachers involved in their interpreter training programs. In other words, while we are struggling with a dearth of Deaf professors suddenly the excuse of "there just aren't any Deaf people out so what are we supposed to do about it anyway?" is turned on its head.
It is only through one another that we are able to learn what we could be doing better, while still disrupting the status quo of unacceptable practices that we have somehow become accustomed to. It is only through a desire for an open mind and a willingness to improve that we can grow as a field. It is not by having answers that we gain knowledge, but by bringing more people to the table that we can see options we never thought possible before! There is no single approach that should be idolized above any other; we all get better together!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this experience WASLI!