MaryFaith Autumn is a British Sign Language-English interpreter living and working in northwest England. Successful translation and interpreting work is best accomplished when the professional can refer to her own linguistic resources constructed through pertinent experience and general world-knowledge and incorporate these in the relevant domain or subject area.
The majority of MaryFaith’s interpreting work takes place in a medical environment including hospital outpatients and consultants appointments, day surgical procedures and visits to local GP surgeries. She is keenly aware of the significance and impact of clear communication with regard to diagnosis and treatment.
Prior to redirection to interpreting and work with deaf people, MaryFaith was studying for her nursing degree. She is able, therefore, to apply her knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, her experience within the environment of doctors’ offices and hospitals to her work as an interpreter. Her MA academic work in the ‘specialist settings’ module focused on the medical domain and MaryFaith has developed a specialism in interpreting in this area.
Social Care Interpreting
Much of MaryFaith’s interpreting practice is in the social care sector. She is familiar with the working practices, policies and procedures that underpin the social care environment.
MaryFaith appreciates the value of a positive intervention and of the working relationship that can emerge when communication is successful between the individuals engaged in the interaction. She has five years experience working within statutory social services in the UK, in an administrative post of a busy team dealing with child protection and family support and in a deaf services team.
Interpreting in the Workplace
As an interpreter, MaryFaith has provided support in the workplace environment to a variety of deaf individuals. She takes advantage in her professional reading of accessing recent research relevant to this work. For her Masters’ thesis, MaryFaith explored interpreted ‘Institutional Talk’ in the workplace through the lens of critical discourse analysis. MaryFaith is interested to expand her work to include more practice in this arena, especially as increasingly deaf professionals are using designated interpreters.
International Sign Language
In addition to the above, MaryFaith’s diverse professional life experience has developed a willingness to struggle, to work at finding a way to communicate. Robust and confident communication skills result from working with deaf people in six countries on three continents, and with deaf people relocated to the UK from other additional countries. In addition, when travelling for pleasure she has, whenever possible, organized encounters with local deaf people visiting deaf schools and social gatherings.
MaryFaith is poised and assertive when meeting new deaf people and approaching novel communicative events. She has developed supplementary skills through her encounters with deaf people who have minimal formal language skills, with those whose expressive language is disturbed by mental health issues and psychosis, and with people who have communication needs other than straightforward sign language because their deafness has occurred through aging or trauma or because they have disabilities in addition to being deaf.
Consultancy and Training
MaryFaith will deliver bespoke advice and training for your organisation, nursing or care home or day services for seniors, with regard to communication needs of your staff and service users for successful communication.
As a member of the statutory services deaf team, MaryFaith assessed deaf and hard of hearing residents in the community to recommend appropriate environmental aids and adaptations to enable them to access sounds in their homes. She delivered deaf awareness and communication skills training for employees of nursing homes and other support services for seniors enabled the development of a Deaf Forum for deaf people to access and make their views known to local government statutory agencies. She provided reports in support of applications for deaf children’s placement in specialist deaf education settings.