Well, we have certainly had a busy first couple of months as a Committee!
- Hot on the heels of our first Committee meeting in July, we promptly set up two new SubCommittees. Firstly, we have a SubCommittee looking at Occupational Health and Safety; this group will be looking at working conditions and physical risks for interpreters and will develop a draft Policy for CISLI.
- We have also formed a group to look at the creation of a Grievance / Dispute policy. This SubCommittee is strictly in the researching phase at the moment, gathering best practice from other comparable countries. More news on these new SubCommittees soon, as well as updates to existing Sub Committees.
- We have a great October training session lined up – Teresa Lynch and Frankie Berry will deliver a session for CISLI members on Working with Deaf Interpreters on Sat 22 October in Limerick. This will be followed by a General Meeting of CISLI members.
- The Training Sub-Committee also plans to hold a series of talks in Dublin on midweek evenings on various interpreting – related topics – free for members. Again watch this space!
- We have also been introducing ourselves to the many agencies that provide sign language interpreting services. The range of such organisations is important for us to keep abreast of. New companies entering the industry have received introductory letters from us, and we hope to have face to face meetings through the year with agencies and develop good working relationships with them.
- Another change we have made is to the Student Representative position on the Committee. We feel that a reconfiguring of the role should take place to maximise the position’s usefulness. Therefore we have decided that Ciara Grant, our current Student Representative, will act as a New Member Liaison until the upcoming AGM. She will become a full voting member of the Committee and focus solely on the needs and queries of both CDS students and newly-qualified interpreters. The Committee will propose a Motion to make the corresponding changes to the Constitution next year.
We are committed in 2016/7 to work on such matters of national importance – liasing with agencies, old and new; exploring possibilities around our own grievance procedure linked to our Code of Ethics; health and safety and good conditions for interpreters; and discussion with other parties about licensing and/or registration of interpreters post-qualification.
Yet this national focus, our small size, tiny budget and voluntary nature means that prioritisation must occur. CISLI regrets that it was unable to attend this year’s efsli AGM. We had sent out informal apologies previously to efsli, and are disappointed that once again, the limited finances of CISLI and the very busy professional and personal lives of our volunteer Committee did not permit attendance. We are also confirming that CISLI will have representation in 2017 for efsli in France, as well as other interpreter related events through the coming year.
But none of the goals and campaigns we wish to work on, for all of us, can be achieved without member support. Our paid membership numbers are currently the lowest on record, however. Without members, CISLI cannot represent interpreters. We cannot plan.We cannot advise. We cannot work on those areas that interpreters are now vocally insisting are vital to work on. We need people to join the organisation. We need your help.
To this end, we are offering interpreters the chance to join as Active members between NOW and the 23rd October, and you will become fully paid members right up until the end of 2017. This represents an extra third of a year membership for the same price.
We encourage you to come to our training events, meetings, and get involved with our Sub-Committees. Let us know how we can help you. Let us know where we are falling down. Let us be stronger together, so that we can represent this growing profession, support each other, and move forward with the Deaf community to a better future for all of us.