On July 3, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) posted a vlog called, “NAD Demand Letter to RID” and we posted that vlog on Silent Grapevine. The NAD wrote to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) their concerns of how RID did not act “in furtherance of the right of people who are deaf and hard of hearing to equally effective communication”. According to the letter, specifically the Executive Director, Anna Witter-Merithew, provided expert witness testimony that did not happen during her tenure.

Thus, the NAD believes that her statements and “any statement by an interpreter acting as an expert witness in opposition to the assertion of critical civil rights of deaf people. Also unacceptable are any such statements made by the executive director of RID or any staff of the RID.”

The NAD has listed three demands that the RID make before any new further collaboration with the RID unless the RID satisfies their three demands.

The Deaf Women United (DWU) made their announcement for “Denunciation of the RID” in a letter written on July 4, 2018.

As of this moment, we do not see any respectful efforts made by RID as they do not align their principles with the needs of the Deaf community professionally and culturally. This is due to several particular examples that we deem as something that marginalizes the Deaf community further to the point where all components this organization provides are now exploitation of the Deaf community. Considering how the essence of RID is solely based on the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, we believe it is crucial for the field of interpretation to be continuously adjusted and improved with the involvement of Deaf people’s guidance. Thus, we are appalled by the dismissive nature of this organization regarding our desires for dialogue that leads to recognition, awareness, and improvement.

DWU stance with RID is on an entirely different issue. They believe that the selection process in the recent search for a new Chief Executive Officer was, “was vague and confusing, along with disparaging regards to the Deaf community’s wishes for transparency and accurate representation. With that, we believe RID does not aim to accurately represent the needs of the Deaf community by selecting an unqualified individual over someone that has our full support and confidence.”

According to their letter, they were surprised that the CEO position was given to a hearing man that “absolutely has no direct experience in the field of interpreting.” Naomi, on the other hand, is a Deaf woman with exclusive experiences of working with interpreters that can be shown through her specialized doctorate degree and years and years of involvement”.

DSTidbit News reported about this issue on May 27, 2018 in an article called, “Community Questions RID Motive Behind Rejection of Naomi for CEO” and reported the insider story of what went on during the interview process and questions whether or not Joey Trapani is the right fit for the CEO position for RID.



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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG