First, let me say that I am so grateful to those pioneers who had the vision to create an organization like NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) for individuals like us who are engaged in providing an invaluable service. After all, Court Interpreters work so those who cannot speak or understand the language can seek justice without boundaries or limitations. Interestingly, this is a field that is only beginning to be recognized as a respected profession in this country, even though President Carter signed the Court Interpreter’s Act the same year that our association was created in 1978.
“The Court Interpreters Act of 1978, signed by President Carter on October 29, 1978, establishes the right of any individual involved in federal proceedings to have a certified court interpreter if his/her communication or comprehension capabilities are inhibited because of a language barrier or a hearing or speech impairment.”
As working professionals, we’ve had more than enough time to think about the benefits of being part of this association. Through my career and travels around the country, I often hear the difficulties many interpreters still face from improper training to improper compensation for the important services we provide. Today I am here to tell you or remind you, that my answer to those dilemmas is still very much the same: Remember that there is strength in numbers, JOIN NAJIT. The only way we will be able to see change is by joining the association fighting for us right now. We are living in interesting times to say the least and I believe it is imperative that we take this moment to join the association and let them represent us as the voice for all judicial interpreters in the country. We must never forget the impact we can have on the life of an individual or an organization- proper communication can mean the difference between a closed case and a mistrial, freedom or incarceration, and in the eyes of some people, life or death.
PAY IT FORWARD INTERPRETER CHALLENGE:
I am thinking about my previous call to arms, (read previous blog here: Stronger Together) in which I mention it is our duty as either professional businesses or educators to pay forward what this organization has done for interpreters in terms of growth and recognition. So in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, DE LA MORA Interpreter Training will pay for one of our students to become a member of NAJIT this year. Additionally, every year from now on we will sponsor one new interpreter to join our beloved organization. I would also like to issue this challenge to all of you who are trainers, active members or agency owners:
join us in this effort. Even better, show us up by sponsoring more than one new member every year. Let’s double our membership by next year so we can properly celebrate the 40th anniversary of NAJIT.
If you are an interpreter who would like to win the NAJIT membership you must do the following:
-Like our Facebook page
-E-mail us: [email protected] and tell us why you should win this sponsorship.
Winner will be announced on our Facebook page on August 1st, 2017.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/interpreter.answers/
Learn About NAJIT: https://najit.org/
Written By: Augustin De La Mora