After September 30, 2016, the Western Region Interpreter Education Center (WRIEC) will no longer support this website as our federal funding has ended. This site will remain open but we will not be able to respond to inquiries.

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WRIEC - Western Region Intrpreter Center

Outreach to the Pacific Rim

Pac Rim Collaboration Featured in Summer 2013 RID Views! Read here


Positive Collaboration, Gratitude, and Results

In July of 2011, CM Hall approached the RID Region V President's Council with an appeal: Would the Western Region RID chapters consider sponsoring a Guam or Saipan interpreter in attending the 2012 RID Regional Conference in Hawaii. These Guam and Saipan interpreters have never had a chance to attend a professional development conference for sign language interpreters and the conference in Hawaii was going to be as close to a chance as they may ever get.


The first chapter to say yes was Idaho RID who underwrote the entire costs for Geraldine Songao, (Saipan)'s participation, approximately $2400 with flight, hotel, meals, and conference registration.. The second chapter to step up was Sacramento Valley RID with a partial sponsorship which then was paired with San Diego County and Oregon RID to help a second interpreter attend. All the Guam and Saipan interpreters that WRIEC has been working with were eligible, but had to submit materials, and share their steps towards professional development. The second interpreter selected was also from Saipan, Connie Olaitiman. These two interpreters had a phenomenal time at the conference and got to meet the interpreters who helped them get there.


Said Connie about the experience: "This month marked my very first ever RID experience and I fell in love with everything! I was overwhelmed, excited, and amazed with everything all at the same time. Thank you to all for your faith and support."


MANY THANKS from WRIEC to these RID chapters for their generous support. Their participation would not have been realized without you sharing our vision for collaboration and support.Washington RID also stepped up, contributing items to the WRIEC Satellite Lending Libraries on Guam and Saipan.


View a picture slide show here


LaVona Andrew with Geraldine and Connie

(L to R) Geraldine Songao, LaVona Andrew, RID Region V Rep, and Connie Olaitiman in Hawaii at RID Region V Conference in June

Since the spring of 2010, the Western Region Interpreter Education Center has been actively engaged in providing interpreter education and training to elevate the skills and status of the interpreters on Guam and Saipan. These interpreters primarily work in the educational settings but also with vocational rehabilitation clients and Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members. Because these territories are so removed from the Mainland, access to technology and diverse Deaf individuals provides a unique challenge. The Western Region Interpreter Education Center staff has been working to best support their professional development and provide resources to this island community and its neighbors. Cheryl Davis has met with rehabilitation counselors, presenting on assistive listening devices, CM Hall has presented several workshops and intensive trainings for these educational interpreters--covering topics such as team interpreting, ethics and decision-making, EIPA domains and competencies, discourse mapping, and assisting the interpreters overall with their comfort with online technology. Additionally, on Guam, WRIEC has met with over 30 members of the adult Deaf community and has visited the elementary, middle and high school mainstream settings to better understand what their educational interpreters experience in the classroom.


Both Guam and Saipan interpreters are challenged with the longtime absence of a distinguished job title as 'interpreter.' The lack of this title puts Guam and Saipan far behind their Mainland interpreter counterparts.


To aide in their skill development, the Western Region Interpreter Education Center established two satellite Lending Libraries on Guam and Saipan for the interpreters to make use of grant-funded and donated materials.


Since 2010, WRIEC has made repeated trips to Guam, in collaboration with Guam CEDDERS and the assistance of their director, Terrie Fejerang, and has provided ongoing training and workshops to 14 Guam and Saipan interpreters. This work culminated In June of 2012, when CM Hall returned to Guam on her fifth trip, to administer the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) test to 9 interpreters.


The great news that came as a result of their preparation and professional development, is that many interpreters now have validated diagnostic feedback on their skills and their scores ranged from 2.9 to 3.7 on the EIPA.


The interpreters have been pleased with their test results: "I was surprised with my outcome. There were so many things I thought I would get so low in. Each and every score was higher than I expected." Another interpreter: "I didn’t think my habits showed up because I was very conscious of what I was doing, but it was good that they caught that. It’s lucky for me that they caught it. It’s something that doesn’t surface in my brain that it will affect the whole message but apparently it does. But this was pretty good. It gave me so many things to work on. Not one person would notice all those things at once. It’s a good baseline."

We are optimistic about these interpreters' prospects at achieving an interpreter job designation/description as a result of this analysis and their ongoing work to further their interpreting skills.


Please enjoy these photos of our travels!


Pauline, Cheryl and CM in Guam

Pauline, Cheryl, and CM in Guam

Cheryl Davis with rehabilitation counseling specialists in Guam

Cheryl Davis with rehabilitation counseling specialists in Guam

Guam & Saipan Interpreters 1

Guam and Saipan interpreters with CM Hall, December 2010

Guam & Saipan Interpreters, Dec 2010

Guam and Saipan interpreters with CM Hall, April 2011

EIPA Prep Workshop

Guam and Saipan interpreters in a training session

Group photo

Group photo of the Guam and Saipan interpreters

Guam Interpreters presenting the seal to CM Hall in thanks for WRIEC's work

Terrie Fejerang and the Guam interpreters presenting the seal of Guam to CM Hall for WRIEC's work, June 2012

CM Hall in the EIPA testing room with Connie Estes, Guam

CM Hall in the EIPA testing room with Connie Estes, Guam, June 2012




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