Friday, October 15, 2021
Oct. 15, 2021

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Working in Clark County: Katie Raymond, American Sign Language interpreter

By , Columbian News Assistant
Published:
4 Photos
Katie Raymond at the School for the Deaf in Vancouver.
Katie Raymond at the School for the Deaf in Vancouver. Photo Gallery

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Meeting a family with three deaf children changed Katie Raymond’s career. After getting to know the family, she decided to become an interpreter. Raymond says: “I am most excited about video interpreting. I am able to help people understand complex subjects.”

Name: Katie Raymond.

Job/employer: Interpreter/Washington School for the Deaf.

Age: 30.

Education/professional background: When I was a senior in high school, I met a family who had three children who were deaf. I became friends with the family. I had thought I wanted to be a teacher, but after that experience, I decided to become an interpreter.

I attended Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore. ,for one year and then transferred to Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore. I earned my bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language English Interpreter. After my internship in Arizona, I was hired and worked there for three years before moving back to this area. I started at Washington School for the Deaf in 2009 as an interpreter. In mid 2010, I became the interpreter coordinator. Four years ago, I also became a video interpreter.

What we do at the school: We provide an interpreter for any staff members who do not sign or for any visitors coming to the school.

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Most rewarding part of job: The video sign language interpreting is definitely the most rewarding. In past years, TTY use required English and typing and complex conversations, but we now have video relay service (VRS) technology allowing deaf people to communicate using their native language.

One example is when a non-English speaker is getting test results from a doctor. The deaf person calls the doctor to get results but they see me on the phone signing to them and now they are able to understand. Most people have a video phone in their office. It is a great help for a deaf person to understand a complex subject.

Job preparation: You must do some prep work before working an event such as a concert. You should know the songs beforehand and that eliminates half the work. There are some events that are extra challenging. If you can’t hear the conversation, you need to find tools you can use to hear. You might be able to get a copy of a speech.

Personal/business philosophy: Always try to do my very best. If that isn’t good enough, get help.

Something you would like to do over: No. I believe my jobs and everything I have done has given me experience. Everything from where I went to college, to the jobs I have had, have all helped me get to where I am today.

Residence: Portland

What would make your community a better place: People should get out of their comfort zones, try new things, learn new languages, learn new cultures. If American sign language is something you are interested in, take a class and surround yourself with the people and the language.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Thai Little Home restaurant and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

Hobbies: Softball, dodgeball and this year I am going to compete in my second power lifting competition.

Volunteer activities: I have done volunteer with a human rights campaign and a Christmas party for children who had dealt with abuse.

Favorite travel destination: Hawaii.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: My niece was in a Nutcraker production last winter and I enjoyed watching her.

One thing you want to do this year: Get married.

Something you want to do within five years: Possibly start a family.

One word to describe yourself: Passionate.

Person you’d most like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres.

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