Dear RID Board members:
We are writing in response to the RID Board’s decision to move forward with a Power and Privilege training as a result of our request for a required Audism Training for the members sitting on the board as well as all of the National RID Office Staff, regardless if they are Deaf or Hearing.
First we want to commend you for taking a part of the “New RID” in not only taking steps but also recognizing that these steps must be made to become progressive and be a part of the change. While the concept of Power and Privilege is specific and important, it is also very broad.
What we were actually requesting was much more specific to the reality of RID- the fact that the field is dominated by Deaf and Hearing people who work for Deaf people. We agree we interpret for hearing people, however, they are already a privileged group so the dynamics come into play when we, as interpreters, work for members of a minority group- this gives us, Deaf or Hearing; power and privilege.
Currently, Coda, hearing, and Deaf members who have not received Audism Training may be endorsing decisions that come from a frame of Audism without realizing it. To further understand this, recognize it, and call out on it, Audism Training is not only essential but fundamental in contributing to long lasting results for the “New RID”.
To remove Audism Training and put in its place something broad, “Power and Privilege”, will not help foster critical relationships of understanding and commodity in this field. How can we process disputes, misunderstandings, core concepts, and conflict resolutions without the language? The language tools and framing provided specifically to Deaf and Hearing people is found only in Audism Training.
We recommend that the following individuals are who we feel would provide the best kind of “Power and Privilege: Audism Awareness” Training for RID. The top choices among Deaf Caucus members are to have Laurene Simms and MJ Bienvenu as co-trainers. Facundo Element is also another highly recommended organization. Below is a comprehensive list of recommended trainers from Deaf Caucus members. Should you want follow up on the names, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Deaf Caucus Council and Member Section
List of Trainers for Power and Privilege: Audism Awareness
MJ Bienvenu and Laurene Simms
Petra Horn-Marsh and Marvin Miller
Ella Mae Lentz and Genie Gertz
Arlene (Blumenthal) Kelly
Co-presenters who are hearing
Dr. Will Garrow