Audrey Ramirez-Loudenback


Philosophy Statement


          My path to this profession is not the typical path, although I would not change it for anything. My interest in the language began with my employment at Western Oregon University . I had graduated with my first degree and began working at our TRiO program, the Student Enrichment Program. We had a few participants that were d/Deaf and hard of hearing. I would greet them as they entered the office and I could feel their frustration (or my frustration with myself), as we communicated through paper and pen. I knew that if I were to pursue a career in higher education I wanted my office to be one where all students felt welcomed so I started to learn American Sign Language (ASL). From there I began taking classes and advising d/Deaf and hard of hearing students. I developed a passion for the language, the culture and the community which led me to seek a second degree in ASL/English interpreting.

        As a professional interpreter it is my responsibility to facilitate communication between a minimum of two consumers as effectively as possible.  That requires understanding the unique ways my consumers use language and adjusting my language choices to meet their communication needs.  My work is not about being right or wrong, good or bad nor only using English or ASL. It's about flexibility, adaptation, acceptance of language varieties and preferences, while maintaining my goal of creating an interpretation that is clear for the consumers. That language may not necessarily be the 'formal' ASL or English I was taught in the classroom, but it should be the language that is accessible for the consumers.

My concept of the field of interpreting is still developing and changing with every class and every experience.  Working in post-secondary educational settings has been ideal for me. It has also given me a great foundation to branch out and try new challenges in other settings. I strive to develop a professional relationship with all consumers and colleagues that allows them opportunities to communicate ways I can improve without fear that I will react defensively.

        One of the most appealing qualities about this work is the infinite opportunities to learn and grow.  Language is intertwined with our identities and our history.  Our use of language is as complex and unique as our personalities. As an interpreter, I am using my language skills to connect two people who are sharing a part of who they are with each other. I truely feel honored and grateful to be an interpreter and I accept all the responsiblities that comes with that role.  These are responsibilities that I do not take lightly and that is why I will never cease to learn and seek improvement in my work.