|Nic Zapko is on the left.|
Says Zapko: “I was honored to be nominated for my work and for the program to be recognized. But the honor is really for our whole team, a group that works together incredibly well.”
Zapko, who has worked for Sorenson for five years, is the program manager for two extended trainings and is part of a training team of 25 individuals who are responsible for the training and development serving thousands of sign language interpreters in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Says Zapko: “Our goal is to improve Video Relay Service (VRS) interpreters’ skills and confidence. We are passionate about it!”
Zapko enjoys working in an environment where being deaf and using American Sign Language (ASL) fluently are seen as assets. She says her focus — in work and in life — is relationships and people. “As an educator, work isn’t just about imparting knowledge — it’s about the emotion that goes with learning and teaching. It’s also about always being willing to listen to people. We always try to empower our professional development staff to work with people — wherever they are in their learning process.”
ETL award recipients were chosen based on exceptional leadership skills, business savvy and training instinct. All ETL candidates, nominated by co-workers or industry peers, were required to have been in the training industry for at least two, but not more than 10, years. All took on at least one new responsibility in the last year, successfully led a large-scale training/learning and development initiative within the last year, demonstrated a variety of leadership qualities and had the potential to lead the training or learning and development function at an organization in the next 10 years.
In late 2013, Zapko led curriculum development for the Skill Advancement: Interpreting and Language (SAIL) program, a three-day, professional development training during which interpreters gain additional skills they can apply to their VRS and community interpreting work. Through the additional training provided by this program, Sorenson has been able to maintain enough interpreters to compensate for attrition and to address increasing VRS call volumes seen at Sorenson VRS®. In 2014, the program curriculum was offered in seven locations, with more than 200 participants from VRS interpreting centers across the U.S. and Canada.
“Nic Zapko began working for Sorenson five years ago as a part-time language mentor. Because of her leadership skills and her passion for training, she was promoted to program manager within three years. We continue to be impressed with Nic’s ability to inspire people to improve,” says Dawn Raymond, Sorenson’s national professional development manager and the person who nominated Zapko. “With this program in place, Sorenson continues its commitment to making sure our interpreters are highly-skilled and are ready, willing and able to provide top-notch service for VRS customers.”
Zapko is also an ASL mentor, skills-building workshop teacher and works in the St. Paul VRS interpreting center.
Sorenson Communications, the leading provider of VRS for deaf people who use sign language to communicate, is the largest U.S. private employer of deaf individuals.
About Sorenson Communications
Sorenson Communications® (www.sorenson.com) is a provider of industry-leading communications products and services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The company’s offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the Sorenson ntouch® VP videophone, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; ntouch®PC, software that connects users to SVRS by using a PC and webcam; ntouch® for Mac®, software that connects users to SVRS by using an Apple® computer; ntouch® Tablet, which turns the Apple iPad® with a front-facing camera into a larger-screen mobile VP; and ntouch® Mobile, an application empowering SVRS communication via mobile devices.
If you choose Sorenson as your default provider, you can port your existing 10-digit number to Sorenson from another provider or Sorenson can provide you with one for the geographic area where you live or work. If you later change your default provider, you can port your number to that provider. When selecting Sorenson, you must provide to Sorenson the physical address (i.e., the Registered Location) from which you are placing the call, so that Sorenson can properly route any 911 calls you may make. If you move or change your location, you must notify Sorenson immediately. You can update your Registered Location from your Sorenson videophone by calling 800-659-4810 or by visiting www.svrs.com/moving. Sorenson will confirm receipt of your Registered Location information. Emergency calls made via internet-based TRS may not function the same as traditional E911 service. For example, you may not be able to dial 911 if there is an internet-service failure or if you lose electrical power, and your 911 call may not be routed correctly if you have not updated your Registered Location. For more information on the process of obtaining 10-digit numbers and the limitations and risks associated with using Sorenson’s VRS to place a 911 call, please visit Sorenson’s website: www.sorenson.com/disclaimer. For information on toll-free numbering, please visit www.svrs.com/tollfree.