Carey Ballard Calls for Interpreter Accountability

Carey Ballard shared a public video on Facebook. He made strong points and called out interpreters for not stepping up to have this conversation, for not stepping up to hold each other accountable. Great work here. So proud of Carey.

From the comments, some interpreters are making this about them and derailing from  the systemic issues that are the problem here. Here’s one from Nancy Kikendall that took the cake. Quoted below for the reader’s pleasure.

“And why is it that it’s “ALL” interpreters that need to be shaken? To “knock off the oppression”? We are here to assist in making sure your voice is heard. In all honesty… the mentality of “shake up the interpreters” is oppressive to us. I did not come into this field to be a “whipping girl” because you are angry and thus “all of us are bad.”

We are on the front line… fighting daily to make sure Deaf people have access. Advocacy! Access! A voice.”

Shame on you for attacking those who have done you NO harm. You have a beef with RID? Go after the board with your anger… don’t take it out the interpreters like myself, working 3 jobs to survive.”

Nancy. 1985 called. They want the helper model back.

You’re acting like a victim here. You’re acting like we owe you something. We don’t. We have fought for our own access. We advocate for ourselves. We have our own voice. We ask interpreters to ally-up, to be our accomplices, to work with us in making the world more accessible and more equitable. Not for us, but with us.

That’s the point. Which you completely missed. Why are you attacking Carey rather than mobilizing your fellow interpreters to hold the profession accountable? There are interpreters who abuse Deaf people, there are interpreters who actively impede our access, and what are you doing about that Nancy? Nothing. Someone at the NAD called this “hearing fragility.” Reminds me of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. Worthwhile read. The link is included for your learning and reflection.

Text from image on the left: (text from the image on the right is included in the body of the blog post above).

Nancy Kikendall You are free to boycott interpreting services… many of us have other degrees and will go find other work… as we need to survive too. Many of us went into the field knowing that it is a SERVICE industry that means we won’t get rich… but we will be able to help others have a voice to sit at the table so that people would be included and not pushed aside.

Also, I’m sure many companies would be thrilled to have no interpreters… they keep more of their profit. Sounds like a slippery slope…

At the end of the day… the “partnership” mentality has become non-existent… when the response is “boycott” “deprive them of a living” etc.

So go ahead and do what you must… and I can guarantee… we will also do what we need to do to survive.

But don’t be surprised if interpreters start not being available when the call goes out for a “need.”

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