Interpreting into English: The power of the voice


Start: March 20, 2015 at 6:00 PM
End: March 20, 2015 at 9:00 PM


University of Southern Maine Wishcamper Center, Shepard-Lee Auditorium
34 Bedford Street, Portland, Maine. 04101

Workshop description

View David describing the workshop in ASL.

Research indicates we are judged on two main qualities by how we speak. Those qualities are warmth (whether we are friendly and well intentioned) and competence (whether we can deliver on our intentions). Elements such as pitch, volume, pace, cadence, and word choice all contribute to our overall presentation and how others view us.

The good news is that if specific elements of our speech work against us, (i.e. lead to people judging us as being cold and/or incompetent), we can focus on changing those traits. But what about Deaf ASL users who do not use their voices to communicate? They are not being judged on their vocal traits, but on ours.

How does your interpreting work into spoken English affect perceptions of the signing consumer? Do Deaf consumers come across as unfriendly and/or impaired because of our work? Beyond the content accuracy of signed messages, how do we authentically represent Deaf people in spoken English? In this presentation we will explore some challenges and strategies for working from ASL to spoken English.

After taking this workshop, participants will be able to…

  • Describe how one’s identity is constructed
  • Identify three vocal traits that can negatively affect listener perception of the speaker
  • Record at least one personal negative vocal trait and formulate a strategy to address and correct it


Friday, March 20, 2015, 6:00–9:00 PM

Target audience

Interpreters and interpreting students (hearing and coda) interested in improving the quality of their English voice work.

Presentation language

This workshop will be presented in spoken English.

Continuing education

This workshop is approved for 0.3 RID Professional Studies CEUs requiring some content pre-knowledge.


Deadline: To be ensure adequate workshop materials, registrations must be received by Friday, March 6, 2015. On-site registration will be accepted, but materials are not guaranteed.

ADA accommodations

Accessibility requests must be submitted by March 1, 2015.

Cancellation policy

No refunds will be issued after February 20, 2015.


Nick Dionne or Alyssa Gagnon,


MeRID members: $50.00 (Friday), $200.00 (full weekend)
Students: $50.00 (Friday), $200.00 (full weekend)
Non-members: $70.00 (Friday), $250.00 (full weekend)

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