President, Vice President
Jessica is a settler, and a grateful visitor, living on the unceded shared territory of the Coast Salish (say-lish)People, more specifically the the Hul’qumi’num (hull-qui-meen-num) speaking people in the city that is now known as Delta, BC, and works throughout the territories and lands that make up what is currently known as the province of BC as a sign language interpreter, mentor, and facilitator. (nations on this land are the Tswassen (SS wah sen) Katzie (kate-zee) Kwantlen (quahnt-lin) and Sto:lo (stah-low) ppl)
Jessica Siegers has worked as a Sign Language Interpreter since 2003. She received her Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting at Douglas College and later went on to earn her Workplace Education Certificate and BA in Adult Education from the University of the Fraser Valley. She has also continued her professional development with annual training and workshops, achieving her national certification (COI) in 2016, and her accreditation with the Translation Bureau in 2018.
Jessica began her career interpreting in the community and has since continued working in all aspects of interpreting, from conferences to mental health settings, with a heavy continued focus on educational interpreting at the post-secondary level.
Jessica in an experienced facilitator; she has spent over six years as president of the Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters (WAVLI), and now sits on several committees for the WAVLI – most notably in the areas of professional standards. Jessica was instrumental in supporting WAVLI in obtaining Occupational Title Protection for sign language interpreters in BC and has assisted WAVLI in developing educational materials for school districts across the province around the importance of having properly trained personnel filling the roles of interpreters/communication facilitators in classrooms across the province. She has also developed and implemented structured mentoring and supervising workshops and other professional development opportunities for interpreters.
Rebecca (Becky) Stuckless
My husband Doug, my six children ages 7 to 29 and my entire family have been a tremendous support to me over the years as I work towards my professional goals. Working directly with Betty Colonomos and extensively with the Integrated Model of Interpreting over the past 2 years have provided me an opportunity to reflect on my decisions both within the interpreting process and within my professional practice. This has increased my desire to work with my colleagues to ensure we are all bringing our best self to our work.
I am a Heritage Language user of ASL born to Deaf Parents, one Canadian and one American, and I have been an active part of the Deaf Community in both countries. As a Heritage Signer, interpreters have been an integral part of my formative experience. Recruited to the field of interpreting by Deaf professionals, I began my career over 30 years ago. I have been fortunate enough to work all around the globe with a variety of individuals and in a variety of settings, such as; education, VRS, medical, mental health, employment, community and legal. Most of my interpreting work is within legal settings. Like many of you, COVID-19 has also unexpectedly given me the opportunity to work in VRI settings.
Recognizing that as interpreters we are invited into very private spaces in the lives of Deaf people and their families, I understand the value of highly skilled and culturally proficient interpreters. I believe that CASLI must play an integral role in ensuring that interpreters have an organizational structure that both advocates for best practices and provides opportunity for professional learning and growth to its members.
As a young interpreter growing up in a diverse community, it has always been clear to me that being fluent in ASL is only one part of providing effective access to communication; understanding culture and lived experience also play a key role. Racism has been embedded in our society for over 400 years; because of this, I also recognize that racism has infiltrated the systems and structures within our organization. In order for CASLI to be truly responsive to the entire Deaf Community--including those who are IBPOC--it is our responsibility to address that racism. We have a shortage of interpreters who have shared lived experience with our IBPOC Deaf community and other marginalized populations. In order to grow our pool of IBPOC professional colleagues we must work intentionally to be anti-racist. CASLI should play an integral role in promoting our profession to Deaf and Hearing individuals within the IBPOC community.
Joining the CASLI board 16 months ago has given me the experience to be able to look at our organization from an entirely different perspective. As both a board member and as an active member, I strongly believe it is time for change. CASLI must continue to assess if it is meeting the needs of its members and of the community it is charged with serving. It is important that we take inventory of what changes need to happen to best meet the needs of our members and the community we serve. While responding to the call for change, we must also ensure that changes implemented are anti-racist and anti-audist.
In recent years, CASLI membership have identified priorities for CASLI including:
Restoring Resolution Process
Evaluations (including Deaf Interpreter accreditation)
Promoting resources and best practices
Promotion of profession
Serving the membership as Vice President of CASLI has given me a greater appreciation for the commitment of our previous Board of Directors and the endless hours they contributed to the growth of our professional organization. My term on the board has fueled my passion to continue to engage with members of CASLI. This year has been challenging with so many unexpected obstacles but it has been beautiful to see engagement across the membership. In particular, I thank our colleagues in western Canada for engaging members in conversations.
It is my hope to be able to continue to serve on the board in a new role as the CASLI President and provide support for the transition of many incoming board members. It is my commitment to follow through with the work that has been done over the past 16 months; I would like to continue to build on the healing relationship with CAD and other stakeholder associations. I envision engaging monthly with members and stakeholders through virtual platforms which will assist us in being responsive and accountable to the needs of our members.
I am committed to continue making intentional effort to be mindful of my privilege and its impact. I am also dedicated to continue engaging in purposeful dialogue with CASLI Members, Deaf organizations and Deaf individuals of all backgrounds and identities. I welcome and encourage feedback from members and those who access the services of interpreters. Please feel free to reach out if you have anything you wish to discuss!
First Vice President
Taedra Harris is an American Sign Language/ English Interpreter. At the age of 10 she moved to Canada from the United States of America with her family, settling in Montreal, Quebec.
Taedra often describes herself as being “in between” as she is a Bi-racial/ Black, dual citizen who works as a professional communication facilitator between two worlds, who lives and works among a quadrilingual demographic (ASL, English, LSQ and French).
Taedra graduated from the Interpreter Training Program in Windsor, Ontario in 2005, returning to continue to work with the Anglo-Deaf Community in Montreal. Though her primary focus was working in the K-11 setting, Taedra also split her time traveling to work in the field of Video Relay Interpreting in centers in Ottawa and Toronto.
In 2015, Taedra became the committee coordinator of AVLIC’s Educational Interpreting Issues Committee (EIIC) until 2018.
Though there are no letters after her name, Taedra is an active activist and has campaigned for language rights, family rights, accessibility rights as well as bring attention to the lack of resources to nurture and encourage the success of People of Colour, especially our Black Communities. Taedra’s most recent accomplishment was a personal one, as she insisted that the funds that her local chapter was setting out to donate be specifically earmarked to support BIPOC Deaf Community members and/or interpreters.
As a mother of three boys, Taedra continued to advocate for students’ learning environments as well as equal opportunities for families as she served a two year term as President of the local Home and School Committee ending the spring of 2019.
As Vice President, Taedra believes she can help bring CASLI to a place where members feel seen and heard. Taedra will work hard to make sure that the ideas put to paper are translated to actions. Taedra believes in supporting her colleagues as well as the communities which we all represent.
Campbell McDermid, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Gallaudet University in the Department of Interpretation and Translation. He has worked as a literacy instructor and College English Professor with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and taught ASL-English interpretation since 1997. As an instructor, he draws upon various teaching methods such as Grammar-Translation, the Direct Method or Immersion approach and the Audiolingual/Audiovisual approaches. Campbell’s research and publications encompass curriculum design, translation theory, Groupthink, pragmatics, cohesion, and assessment. His peer-reviewed scholarship includes a recent publication, Learning to Interpret (2018) published by RIT Press.
Hello CASLI, I was nominated for the treasurer position and would be very excited to fulfill this opportunity. I have been Interpreting for 20 years, for six years I worked in the United States. Returning to Canada I recognized a frustration among the Deaf community with a lack of services. I established SOS (Southern Ontario Sign-Language) Interpreters, a referral agency to help facilitate services. It successfully operated for several years.
Once other services became available I decided to focus on my family. Recently I have been working with the indigenous community working on a Reserve. I have been fascinated with the Deaf indigenous culture and language and enjoy the privilege to learn it. I also provide VRS service and teach a Sign Language course for a college program with Deaf faculty (sorry for the vagueness of my current work, confidentiality)
My main experience was working for Edward Jones, a financial institution for 3 years. I have a plethora of experience creating financial reports and statements. Budget reports, grant wring, stocks and investments. I would be happy to apply my previous financial experience to the CASLI association.
Thank you for nominating me for the treasurer position, good luck to everyone!
Laura found interpreting by following her soul’s urge: language and lifelong learning. She was at a crossroads in her life and was choosing between a nursing or education degree when she decided to take one-year break from post-secondary to do something she felt drawn to; Laura decided to learn sign language. That one-year break became seven years. Laura first graduated from Lakeland College with an honours certificate in Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Then four years and some travels later, Laura graduated with an honours diploma in Sign Language Interpreting from Lakeland College. She has worked as a Sign Language Interpreter since 2012. Eight years into her career, Laura is still fascinated by community leaders and mentors and the opportunities this career has presented. She has continued to work in the community and video relay service.
Since 2016, Laura has served on the Board of Directors of ASLIA (Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Alberta). Officially, she is serving her third two-year term as Treasurer. Unofficially, she maintains the association’s website and took over development of the quarterly newsletter. In 2020, she was honoured to be awarded the President’s Award for her work on the ASLIA board. Laura has seemed to be enthusiastic about every endeavour with the board. Her primary focus with the board is enhancing the profession and creating a space for interpreters to develop their skills.
When she is not wearing clothes that contrast her skin colour, Laura is enthusiastic about her dog, Linus. If you ask about him, be prepared to see her passion for the well-being of animals. Laura was born and raised on a farm in traditional Cree, Assiniboine and Ojibwa, and Blackfeet territory. She grew up with five dogs and three siblings. Those experiences in her formative years shaped how Laura interacts with the world: compassionately, fairly, and as a team.
English Version Coming Soon
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