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About Andrea K. Smith

Andrea is highly skilled in all aspects of interpreting between English and American Sign Language, Tactile sign, and SEE. Her strengths include legal settings, platform work (with an emphasis on concerts and plays), heavy sign-to-voice work, and scientific/technical content.

There is a story, perhaps a bit apocryphal, that tells of two sailors aboard a ship loading the ship's cargo and laughing together over the safety regulations manual. They mock the lack of common sense the authors had to include such prohibitions like not storing toxic waste in the crew quarters. Overhearing the sailors, the ...continue reading "Your Regulations are Written in Blood"

Dear Younger Me, Right now you are about to graduate from your Interpreter Training Program and you have NO idea what you are getting yourself into. You don't know that your work will take you into the darkest corners of the human experience possible.  You don't know that there are monsters who walk among us ...continue reading "A Letter to My Younger Self"

Unless you've been hiding from the world, you're probably aware of all the controversies swirling around the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) lately. This blog post is not about the controversies, but focuses instead on an idea that I keep seeing mentioned in various social media spaces and blog posts. One idea currently ...continue reading "The RID “Monopoly”"

In the summer of 2015, the RID National Conference was a battleground of controversy fueled by anger and heartache over the extreme growing pains being suffered by our national organization. One of the issues that was addressed was the sunsetting of the Oral Transliteration Certification (OTC). The issue was swept up alongside RID's decisions to ...continue reading "The Curious Case of Cued Speech"

There is a new player in the world of interpreting.   ASL Interpreter Grades  is a new review site designed to allow people give ratings to their interpreter experiences.  While I have some concerns about the implementation of the site, I've been very impressed and pleased with the responsiveness to community feedback.  Enough so that I took ...continue reading "The Rogue’s Gallery"

I am about to begin my studies with the EUMASLI program next week.  This program, the European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting, brings participants from all over the world to pursue graduate studies in visual language interpreting.  It includes an overview of the languages used by the three partner universities (English, Finnish, German, and their corresponding ...continue reading "A New Adventure"

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.  Most of the criticism comes from the costs of "leaning in" to support workers like housekeepers and cooks for the modern working woman.  Hey, if I could afford people to work those jobs, I would ...continue reading "“Lean In” On Interpreters"

Today was another new milestone for me. I interpreted for a fashion show to benefit a charity cause that is near and dear to me. Anyone who knows me will understand how ridiculous it is for me to do such a job. It's not that I'm ignorant about fashion per se, but I truly consider ...continue reading "But … What Should I WEAR?"

One of the projects I have been working on is on licensing interpreters practicing in DC (and, hopefully, MD and VA). I have been embroiled in this controversy for several months now and I have fought my way through pounds of rhetoric, hours of arguments, and the piranha pool that is any political struggle. The ...continue reading "A Reason For The License"