Teresa Blankmeyer Burke has written a fantastic PSA (mostly) over at Deaf Echo geared toward any hearing non-signer who comes across an interpreter working in the field with a deaf person.
Links to relevant places for background info and context are provided by Dr. Burke, but in a nutshell, this online conversation began when two deaf consumers attended an event where a member of their interpreting team was accosted (while working) by a journalist interested in doing a story on the nuances of the interpreting field. Said article was then published by the Wall Street Journal.
I don't have much of my usual snark to add to this commentary, (sorrybutnotreally) partly because many people in addition to Dr. Burke have already done so quite articulately... and I feel like anything I write here would be tantamount to sloppy seconds.
However, I do find myself in an unusually magnanimious mood; while I've been following this story since the WSJ article came out, reading Dr. Burke's piece had me reflecting upon how lucky I have been to work with some really great interpreters in the past.
Such an incident, while deserving of a response, should also have us thinking about how best to advocate, both for ourselves as consumers of interpreting services, and on behalf of deserving, qualified, and professional interpreters. These are harder to do than it seems. There's a lack of widespread formal education about the former, and there can be a fine line between showing good interpreters appreciation for their skill set and professionalism... and casting them in a savior role.
The incident Dr. Burke writes about has been really exciting for me to follow. I look forward to seeing what further lessons we'll learn as a community, and, maybe, possibly, dareIevenhope... what awareness the non-signing community will gain as a result of this discussion.