26th Annual Missouri Interpreters Conference

October 11-13, 2019

Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Ozark, MO

Visibility Amid Disruption - Navigating New Terrain

Use the links in the side menu to learn more about this year’s event.


Click here to make your reservation at Margaritaville Lake Resort (formerly Tan-Tar-A); group rate available until September 11!



Thursday, October 10

2:00-4:00 p.m.

Board for Certification of Interpreters (BCI) Meeting


5:00-8:00 p.m.

Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) Commission Meeting


Friday, October 11

8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Extended Session for Students and New Interpreters (no CEUs offered for this session)


5:00-10:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open


5:30-6:30 p.m.

The Three C’s of Tandem Interpreting, Thomas Green (0.1 CEUs)


7:00-8:30 p.m.

Welcome Ceremonies and Keynote Presentation by Barbara Garrett (0.1 CEUs)


9:00-10:00 p.m.

The BEI TEP: An Overview, Tom Flynn (0.1 CEUs)

Clauses in ASL, Molly O’Hara (0.1 CEUs)



Saturday, October 12

7:00-8:30 a.m.

Governor’s Proclamation Breakfast


7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open


8:30-11:30 a.m.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Empowerment Symposium Session 1: Addressing Social Inclusion Challenges Within the Deaf Community, Corey Axelrod (0.3 CEUs)

Utilizing the Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice, Stephanie Winslow (0.3 CEUs)

Towards More Effective Transliteration, Shelly Jones and Peggy Belt (0.3 CEUs)

Exploring the Fun Art of Interpreting Music, Torri Ryder (0.3 CEUs)


11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.



1:00-4:00 p.m.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Empowerment Symposium Session 2: Systematic Changes through Legislative Advocacy, Corey Axelrod (0.3 CEUs)


1:00-3:00 p.m.

Exploring VR, Cathee Wolford (0.2 CEUs)

A Hearty Helping of Language, Barbara Garrett (0.2 CEUs)

Mentoring, Stephanie Winslow (0.2 CEUs)


1:30-3:30 p.m.

Test of English Proficiency (TEP) – Preregistered participants only


3:30-5:30 p.m.

Navigating the Laws of Medical and Mental Health Interpreting, John Adams (0.2 CEUs)

Feedback Without Fear, Shelly Jones (0.2 CEUs)

ASL Fingerwording, Molly O’Hara (0.2 CEUs)


4:00-6:00 p.m.

Test of English Proficiency (TEP) – Preregistered participants only


7:00-10:00 p.m.

Banquet and Entertainment by Alan “Abababa” Abarbanell



Sunday, October 13

7:00-8:00 a.m.



8:30-11:30 a.m.

Interpreting’s Most Outrageous Moments: An Ethical Study, Alan “Abababa” Abarbanell (0.3 CEUs in Ethics)

ProTactile: The DeafBlind Way, Aimee Bader and Esther Brenowitz (0.3 CEUs)


8:30-10:30 a.m.

Don’t Be Mad If I Don’t Look: Accommodating Hard of Hearing Consumers, Corey Axelrod (0.2 CEUs)

How to Prep for the BEI TEP, Tom Flynn (0.2 CEUs)


11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

ASL Expressive Competency, Barbara Garrett (0.2 CEUs)

We’re All In This Together, Jennifer Patterson (0.2 CEUs)

Workshop Descriptions

Keynote Presentation

The Impact of Collaboration: Navigating New Terrain Together

Presented by Barbara Garrett

Cognitive researchers have determined that humans are intellectually at their best when working together, and at their weakest when working alone. Much of what we think we know is merely illusion. In fact, we are incredibly poor at realizing the depth of our own individual ignorance (Sloman & Fernback, 2017). This illusion of thinking we are knowledgeable, and then making independent decisions based on what we think we know, often leads to failure. Fortunately, humans are cognitively wired to live and work in groups. We are at our most intelligent when we think, work, or simply “do life” in collaborative communities. ASL English interpreters (HI and DI) have the best hope of sustaining success when we collaborate with members of the Deaf community, one another, and include the collective wisdom of those who have gone before us. How do we begin to recognize our individual ignorance and collective wisdom? What do we do when we aren’t sure what to do? This presentation aims to inspire confidence and provide strategies to successfully navigate today’s new, and sometimes rocky, terrain.

Healthcare Lattice and Ethical Contexts

Presented by Stephanie Winslow

What is the Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice? I’m glad you asked. It’s a tool that provides structure for the interpreter wanting to become competent in the healthcare field. It allows one to conceptualize the steps needed and provides accountability by documenting progression made. Whether you’re a pre-professional interpreter, or whether you have years of experience, learning how to use this tool can help you identify your current status and create a plan for your next level of expertise.

Watch Stephanie’s vlog description here!


The Three C’s for Tandem Interpreting

Presented by Thomas Green

The three C’s of the interpreting profession are: choices, chances, and change. Based on the Deaf Interpreter Conference 3’s theme, this workshop will examine choices that we have as interpreters, chances (opportunities) that are there for us to take or reject as interpreters, and change that are needed or wanted in our profession. Also we will learn what Tandem Interpreting (term coined by Trenton Marsh) is and how that impacts our profession through trainings, college, certification, legislative requirements, and other factors. THe main target of this discussion is effective communication and communication access for the Deaf Community utilizing Tandem Interpreting. Let’s explore our choices, chances, and changes to strive for effective communication!


Overview of the BEI TEP

Presented by Thomas Flynn

This workshop will provide an overview of the BEI Test of English Proficiency (TEP), using information from the Texas DARS Study Guide for Interpreter Certification Candidates as well as insights from the presenter, an instructor of reading, writing, and vocabulary.


How to Prepare for the BEI TEP

Presented by Thomas Flynn

This workshop will provide strategies and resources for improving English vocabulary including idioms, improving grammar, and improving reading comprehension skills. Professional and pre-service interpreters who anticipate taking the BEI Test of English Proficiency (TEP) will learn resources and practical methods they can use to prepare for the test.

ASL Fingerwording

Presented by Molly O’Hara

ASL-language learners often struggle to understand native fingerspelling. Words typically are not spelled out letter by letter. Moreover, not every fingerspelled word is a lexicalized sign to remember as an ASL word. (An example of a lexicalized sign is the ASL word ‘JB’ for the English word ‘job’.) This session explores the type of fingerspelling that falls through the cracks. Two phenomena are introduced: fingerspelling syllabic structure and fingerspelling phonics. The way English words are pronounced are not necessarily the way ASL fingerspells them. Native English speakers tend to rely on how a word is pronounced in English in order to understand it when being fingerspelled in ASL. Additionally, letters are not necessarily fingerspelled how they are written in English. The way a letter is signed depends upon the other letters that form a fingerspelled word. This session touches on how to “listen” differently in order to “hear” the fingerspelled word correctly.

Watch Molly’s vlog description here!


Interpreting’s Most Outrageous Moments: An Ethical Study

Presented by Alan Abarbanell

Join us for a highly interactive workshop designed to test interpreter’s knowledge of the Code of Professional Conduct, critical thinking skills, understanding and comprehension of cultural mediation issues, and how all these disciplines intersect. Presented by Alan Abarbanell, the conference’s Saturday night entertainer.


Don’t Be Mad If I Don’t Look: Accommodating Hard of Hearing Consumers

Presented by Corey Axelrod

This interactive workshop explores the multiple challenges Hard of Hearing consumers face on a daily basis in today’s society and how interpreters can best adapt to provide support. During this workshop, designed for interpreters who work closely with or provide services to Hard of Hearing consumers, Corey – a Hard of Hearing individual who is also culturally Deaf and fourth generation in his family with deafness—will deliver insight and impact that enables audiences to more clearly understand how to best work with Hard of Hearing consumers.


Navigating the Laws of Medical and Mental Health Interpreting

Presented by John T. Adams

Pop quiz: Why do interpreters sit outside of the patient’s room? How do you respond to a nurse who refuses to give you information because of HIPAA? What are the expectations from DMH for interpreting in mental health? Attend this workshop for the answers! When asked about certain behaviors in medical or mental health settings, we usually reply “it’s standard business practice.” Why? This workshop will explain the statutes and rules from the Joint Commission, HIPAA, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The session will provide participants the knowledge and understanding to accurately and professional provide better answers. Participants will also learn how the statutes and rules protect interpreters from violating the statutes and rules of the State Committee of Interpreters.


Clauses in ASL

Presented by Molly O’Hara

This workshop explores how the second hand—often called the non-dominant hand—performs a vital role in elevating a simple sentence into a complex one. All sentences have at least one clause. A clause is a complete thought. Sometimes, however, a sentence needs more than one complete thought in order to communicate the full story. Enter the second hand! For example, “please bring the coat” is a complete thought. Unfortunately, in this case, it’s not enough. We need to know which coat. A second clause, “that I bought yesterday,” comes to the rescue and we now have “please bring the coat that I bought yesterday.” When structure in this way, both hands—the dominant and the non-dominant hand—are equally important. This session helps to reframe the way we have traditionally regarded the “non-dominant” hand by demonstrating one way in which the role of the second hand is crucial to sentence structure in ASL.


Towards More Effective Transliteration

Presented by Shelly Jones & Peggy Belt

While a vast majority of professional sign language interpreters have been trained to interpret from English to American Sign Language, many lack information concerning the task of transliterating and the elements required in order to produce effective outcomes. Transliterating is an arduous process that requires an exceptional amount of work and consideration. As sign language interpreters, we are called upon to work with a vast variety of language users in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Transliterating is much more than simply “showing the English via signing”. In this workshop participants gain a clearer understanding of the transliterating process.


Exploring the Fun Art of Interpreting Music

Presented by Torri Ryder

Music is a huge part of hearing people’s lives. It enhances movies, wakes us in the morning, and can greatly affect our emotions. How then can we convey its power? This session will explore options regarding instruments, beat, pace, settings, genres, and specific challenges facing the interpretation of the magical art form of MUSIC!


Exploring Vocational Rehabilitation

Presented by Cathee Wolford

The VR process entails many facets to navigate in order to achieve successful employment. You will gain a practical understanding of VR through the Rehabilitation Act, mission, referrals, eligibility, disabilities, vocational guidance and planning. The types of services MVR offers and possible detours associated with case progress and outcomes. The role(s) of DHH rehabilitation counselors of the Deaf and interpreters will be explored. No matter which direction is being pursued everyone is using their own compass. VR acronyms/terminologies in sign language will be conveyed throughout the presentation.


A Hearty Helping of Language: National Trends in Educational Interpreting and their Ethical Implications

Presented by Barbara Garrett

Two recent national publications have significant importance for educational interpreting: “Complexities in Educational Interpreting: An Investigation into Patterns of Practice” by Johnson, Taylor, Schick, Brown and Bolster (2018) and “Professional Guidelines for Interpreting in Educational Settings” (NAIE, 2019). The book was the culmination of a five-year grant-funded investigation launched in 2012 to examine current practices in educational interpreting so that stakeholders can make informed decisions about the quality of interpreting services needed to ensure a free appropriate public education for DHH students. This work included a review of published literature, standards published by each state, a national survey of educational interpreters, analysis of EIPA results (18,010 evaluations across 12 years), input from the National Summit on Educational Interpreting, and more. The Guidelines from NAIE outline expectations toward the provision of quality and effective interpreting services in educational settings and provides insight for ethical decision-making. Both publications are powerful tools that every K-12 interpreter should have in their toolbox as they inform the interpreter and school district personnel. Educational interpreters should not feel alone in decision-making processes when navigating the complex systems and ethical dilemmas towards improving education for DHH students. This workshop aims to provide K-12 interpreters with resources that will lead to significant change for the benefit of the students whom they serve. K-12 interpreters are highly visible as they interact with DHH students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Leaders in this field are working to DISRUPT the status quo on behalf of making a difference in the education of DHH kids.

Mentoring: Let’s DO This!

Presented by Stephanie Winslow

Mentoring: “Everybody does it!” Right? How DO you do mentoring well? Mentors and mentees alike must intentionally and clearly articulate their roles and expectations in order to achieve satisfying outcomes. This workshop uses a team building approach with collaborative exercises to explore and practice specific skills necessary for an effective mentorship like setting specific and measurable goals, creating and reviewing video work samples and effective practices for using Deaf language models as part of your skills growth process.


Feedback Without Fear

Presented by Shelly Jones

One of the most frustrating things I hear us, professional sign language interpreters, say about our work concerns the giving and receiving of feedback. Feedback is important to our growth and development in the field of interpreting. Although giving and receiving feedback can be fear provoking, it is through this process that we make progress and “bear fruit” in our field of practice. In this workshop we will explore the concept of feedback. We will discuss what makes feedback effective as well as ineffective. Participants will receive practical advice and instruction concerning the “how-to” of what we do when we engage in the process of professional feedback with our colleagues.


ProTactile: The DeafBlind Way

Presented by Aimee Bader & Esther Brenowitz

During this three-hour workshop, participants will be able to get a glimpse of what it is like living in a world that is full of touch, the most important sensory, of the DeafBlind community using ProTacile. ProTactile is the DeafBlind way; it is our culture and language. By including the ProTactile philosophy when we communicate with one other we are also reinforcing the DeafBlind culture, language, interpersonal relationships, and even politics through touch. ProTactile philosophy as a whole has a true sense of empowerment for DeafBlind individuals. Participants will learn the principles, history of ProTactile, and basic back channeling. This workshop will also include hands-on activities.


ASL Expressive Competency: Raising Standards and Support Systems for Interpreters

Presented by Barbara Garrett

Research conducted regarding expressive ASL competencies for applicants to a four-year degree program provide evidence that there is little difference in language fluency between someone who completed a two-year interpreting degree and someone who completed only ASL I-IV at the college level. This research provides quantifiable evidence for addressing national inefficiencies in interpreter education, that negatively impact both the student interpreters, and the quality of services provided to stakeholders. After being presented with the data, participants will discuss the implications and identify strategies for moving forward toward providing greater support structures for current and new interpreters thus allowing for the raising of standards. This will be an informative and interactive session that is relevant for working interpreters, those who are mentoring interpreters entering the field, as well as Deaf and hearing people who use the services of interpreters.


We’re All In This Together: Team Interpreting and the Open Process Model

Presented by Jennifer Patterson

Participants will learn who and what makes up a team. Participants will learn how to communicate their teaming needs and evaluate what their teaming process looks like. We will also discuss the Open Model of Interpreting, what it looks like, and who benefits from it. Participants will have a chance to practice these teaming techniques throughout the presentation. Participants will engage in practice scenarios, activities, and discussion. When the seminar has concluded, participants will be able to identify when to use the Open Process Model of Interpreting.