Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jobs for young CODA

"YOUNG! Wow, what a young Interpreter," taps friend to get their attention and says, "Look at the interpreter, so YOUNG!!" It's not only videophone users, I still regularly get asked for my ID when buying alcohol although I've been of legal age for almost 5 years.  What often follows people's shock at my age, is something like this, "Hey, my kids are fluent in Sign Language.. Can they get a job? How??"

I am all for children, teenagers, and adults pursuing the career of sign language interpretation. It seems there is still a high demand for qualified interpreters.  Under the current system it is very worthwhile to obtain a certification with RID.  Their website outlines how this can be done, but I'll share a quick summary.
HOW TO be certified???

1) Go to College.  Get a bachelor's degree (4-year program). It can be ANY major, even playing classical music.
2) 120 Experience credits. What?? Experience = college credits, professional experience, attend workshops.

All done? Now that you have your (1)degree or (2)credits you are eligible to take RID's exams.  You need to pass both a written knowledge test, and a performance exam. If you pass the written test today, then you need to finish your performance exam by 4/17/2018.  The tests are expensive.  If you need to re-take either exam you will have to pay again.

I have met and heard of a lot of CODA that are struggling to find employment.  If you have had the privilege of growing up in a bi-lingual environment why not take advantage of this promising career. Many of us grew up resenting our position as permanent communication agent, but rarely is resentment enough to trump cash flow. In the end you can become another "Wow, YOUNG interpreter!!!"