The American Translators Association has the tagline, “The Voice of Interpreters and Translators.” Close to half the membership is interpreters and yet, very few are voting members! Are you a professional interpreter? Do you have one or more of the following certifications: certified healthcare interpreter, certified medical interpreter, federally certified court interpreter, or state certified court interpreter? If you don’t have these qualifications, have you been in the field for over three years? I implore you, my fellow colleagues, to please take a few minutes to fill out the ATA Active Review form and become a voting member!
Translators are more concerned with translation, just as interpreters are concerned with the needs of interpreters. If a very small fraction of the voting members are interpreters, the board of directors will be translator heavy. This is the current situation now. Their priorities, thoughts, and direction will be specifically for their needs. It is difficult to truly be the voice of interpreters if interpreters lack representation at the highest level. Out of twelve board members, perhaps two practice interpreting. In order to truly represent the membership, it should be closer to half. This is the year to make it happen, with six (that’s right, half the board) director and officer positions up for election.
Obviously, a higher percentage of voting members that are interpreters will enable more interpreters to take the lead within the association. This will create balance so that the tagline “The Voice of Interpreters and Translators” can really be relevant. The process is very simple now. Just log in and fill out the application. Really, any recognized professional certification will make it very easy. If you do not have a certification, a little more proof that you are a practicing professional will be required.
Here is a link to the application: http://www.atanet.org/membership/memb_review_online.php
At this moment, ATA certification exists only for translators, not for interpreters (the remaining half of the membership). The directory will identify ATA certified translators. Wouldn’t it be nice for certified interpreters to be recognized and identified as such? Have them stand out and be rewarded for going the extra mile?
I urge you to please take action now. This way, you will be a full voting member by the next conference. Also, if you cannot make it to the conference, you can still vote by proxy. I would love to see an army of interpreters take the next step and vote for someone who truly represents its needs!