Member Post

Seasoned Interpreters Retreat: Season NOT Old!!



Announcing a Weekend Retreat!

Seasoned Interpreters Retreat: Seasoned NOT Old!!
November 8-10, 2013


Friendly Crossways
247 Littleton County Road, Harvard MA 01451-1445
(978) 456-9386


Friday: Arrival & Ice-breaker 5:00-9:00 PM (Hosted by the planning committee)

Saturday: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM keynote/workshops, 

Saturnday Night: Storytelling and Social Time

Sunday 9:00 AM -12:00 PM workshop


Keynote Presenter:

Craig Andersen: The Past, Present and the Future of Interpreting

Featured Presenters:

Neil Glickman: Deaf Mental Health Care, Interpreters, Resilency and Recovery
Sharon Harrison: Deaf Perspective: A consumer’s reflections on working with both old and new interpreters.
Cathy Cogen and Trudy Schafer: Conversation Café
Bonnie Kraft: Mistress of Ceremonies; Sat night and closing remarks Sunday morning


**Food/Lodging/Workshop Registration included for the weekend**

Cost: $235.00


Questions can be directed to Sharon MacLean or Denise Martinez


Target Audience:

*40+ years on earth and/or 15+ years of interpreting experience.
Registration is limited to 50 participants.
After the initial registration period ends general registration will open for all interested participants.


***Registration Priorities and Availability-


Beyond Priorities stated below registration is on a first come-first serve basis due to the retreat center’s occupancy limits.

  • 1st Week Mass/MassRID Interpreters
  • 1+2nd Week 10 Slots for CDI specifically held
  • 2rd Week New England Interpreters
  • 3th week General Attendance opens


Workshop sponsored by MassRID and Advocates Inc. CEUs forth coming.

This is intended to be a fun, revitalizing and rejuvenating weekend to reflect, rejoice and renew our years of commitment to interpreting and the Deaf Community.

We look forward to registration and to seeing you at the retreat!

Coordinators: Bonnie Kraft, Sharon MacLean, Denise Martinez, Susan Stange


Registration Link:



Registration announcement:


Save the Date:

Response to the Treasurer’s Question on Earmarked Funds - by Nathan Fowler


Response to the Treasurer’s Question on Earmarked Funds

MassRID Meeting
April 27, 2013
Submitted by Nathan Fowler


I have been one of the people accessing some of the earmarked funds in the MassRID Treasury – specifically the line item marked “Betty” in the 2011 MassRID Meeting Treasurer’s report, and which is currently being referred to as “Foundations”.  I would like first to provide some context to the use of these funds since Jan 2011, and second to suggest next steps.

The question as posed in English on the MassRID website ( as of April 10, 2013 read:

Apparently, several years ago MassRID was hoping to have a series of workshops in the areas of Legal, K-12 and Foundations.  $450 was gained from the initial Legal and K-12 workshops but the series was not continued.  Foundations has actually been offered multiple times and profits are currently at $3600.

Additionally, sometimes we are asked to handle the finances for someone in the community putting together a workshop. The profits we have from these are currently $1300.

The question the treasurer will be posing to the membership is – what to do with those profits?

At the April 27th business meeting MassRID would like to hear ideas from members regarding solutions for this issue. If you have any questions please ask beforehand so we can maximize discussion time during the meeting.

In January 2011, I asked the MassRID executive board for access to the funds marked “Betty” in the Treasury for use as seed money to host Foundations I and II in Worcester, MA, which would attempt to draw participants from Massachusetts, as well as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, the Capital Region of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Foundations had not been hosted in Massachusetts in about 10 years.  That workshop resulted in a financial surplus, which went back into the Treasury in the same line item in order to seed future Foundations workshops.  At the time, I had hoped to plan a workshop series, Foundations 1 through 8.  In emails with the Treasurer at the time, Cat Dvar, I made these intentions explicit, and asked whether it would be possible for the surplus to be held for this express purpose. 

My intention in hosting Foundations was to run a zero-sum workshop at the lowest possible registration fee.  I made arrangements with the Treasury that a surplus would be used as seed money for like-workshops.  The workshop was never intended to turn a profit for MassRID, but to be a self-sustaining workshop series.

The nature of Foundations is such that a critical mass of participants (roughly 20) must have taken Foundations I and II in order to advance to Foundations III and IV, and then to V and VI, and ultimately to VII and VIII.  Attrition makes it difficult to find enough registrants for higher levels, and results in higher registration fees and lower budget surplus.  The availability of seed money from previous Foundations offerings helps offset the cost of registration and grant reductions to participants seeking financial assistance.  Without seed money, the only way to host Foundations-type workshops, especially at higher levels, will be to fund raise within our community, or to further raise the cost of registration.  Maintaining a “Foundations” line item will allow for our community to host future Foundations workshops, which have both been financially self-sustaining and a consistent draw for interpreters from around New England.

The cost and liability of running a workshop is high.  The availability of seed money allows for the payment of initial costs, such as advertising, booking fees, and deposits for workshop space.   Seed money also allows for reductions in the cost of registration fees, which compose a majority of the overall budget. It is not financially sound for MassRID to provide workshops that are likely to result in a loss; however, without the help of MassRID, it is all-but impossible for an individual in our community to host a workshop with a substantial budget – even a workshop that is likely to result in a profit - because of the risk of loss. Furthermore, an individual managing a budget takes on the added liability of appearing to earn income, especially when a profit is generated.

If MassRID is not the center for professional development, another entity will take its place.  It is my preference that MassRID remain at the center of interpreter advancement.  In full acknowledgement of the multiple roles that I hold, I offer this:

Presuming it is financially reasonable for MassRID, and presuming it a minimal additional burden to the Treasurer of MassRID, I support the maintaining of special funds - such as the line item for “Foundations” - in the appropriate MassRID bank account, whereby funds can be accessed at least roughly every six months.  I would like to see a policy developed by the Treasurer, in conjunction with the executive board and other relevant parties, for the handling of current and future funds of this type.  The policy might include, but is not limited to: a cap to the amount of money held in a particularly line item; permissions as to who may access earmarked funds; time limits for money held, and policies for handling expired monies; fees charged for maintaining of special funds; and protocol for requesting and approving special funds. The policy should explicitly describe how to manage funds that are currently in use, and given precedence, might reasonably be considered in use.

I believe this question is a matter of policy and it is the prerogative of the executive board that we elected to define it.

Although I am unable to attend the MassRID meeting on 4/27/13 because I am out of state for work, I appreciate the opportunity to supply both context as I know it, and my opinion on this topic.  I have full faith in the membership and the executive board, and I ask that any questions, comments, or concerns about any of this commentary be directed back to me that I might more clearly elucidate my thoughts.


Respectfully submitted,
Nathan Fowler, NIC-A
CMP Coordinator
Member MassRID
RID Nationally Certified Interpreter

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