To provide a national forum for the interpreting profession.
Barry Slaughter Olsen and Katharine Allen together have almost a half century of experience in the interpreting and translation fields as practitioners, trainers, educators, consultants and advocates. They are deeply committed to further developing the interpreting profession, and are very active in their respective professional associations in the conference, medical and community interpreting sectors.
Over the years, they have gained insight into the broader field of interpreting and have seen the increasing need for a forum that will go beyond sector-specific associations and events, and provide a space for members of all interpreting sectors to come together to take stock of the profession as a whole. Each sector is pushing the profession forward in unique and important ways, whether it be the development of video and telephonic interpreting technology in medical interpreting, a full-scale certification structure in signed language interpreting, federal and state-level testing available in legal interpreting, or the advance curriculum and degree programs available in conference interpreting. Yet all too often, the benefits, and sometimes disadvantages, of these innovations go unperceived by other sectors, which often start their own parallel efforts from scratch.
Two years ago, Barry and Katharine formed a partnership to explore the possibility of providing just such a forum. The goal is simple: gather experts and leaders from every sector of the interpreting field together in one place, provide them with a broad overview of the field, and let the conversation grow from there. We believe that when professionals from the community, conference, legal, medical, military and signed language branches of our field meet and see what others are doing, it will spark positive change for interpreting as a whole.
The result is The 1st North American Summit on Interpreting. We hope you will join us at this unique gathering of the interpreting profession. Come share your knowledge and in turn benefit from expertise from all over the field!
Barry Slaughter Olsen, Co-President of InterpretAmerica, LLC, is a conference interpreter and translator with more than a decade of international-level experience under his belt. He began interpreting at the age of 19 as a missionary. He has interpreted professionally since 1993, having spent the bulk of his career based in Washington, D.C. Barry has built up a distinguished client list, which includes the US Departments of State, Justice and Defense, Public Works and Government Services-Canada, the Inter-American Development Bank, Organization of American States, National Geographic Society, C-SPAN Television, and many other public and private sector clients. From 2002 to 2005 he was a staff interpreter at the Free Trade Area of the Americas Secretariat (FTAA). In 2007, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Translation and Interpretation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California. In 2009, he was appointed Program Chair of the only accredited MA program in conference interpreting in the United States.
Barry has taught courses on consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in Latin America and the United States, and collaborated with the US Defense Department on a number of interpreter training initiatives. He was Spanish Translator in Residence in the Department of Language and Foreign Studies at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., where he taught advanced translation for the university’s translation certificate program.
Barry holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Translation from Brigham Young University (BYU) and a Master’s Degree in Conference Interpretation (MACI) from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is an active member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), based in Geneva, and was elected to the Association’s Training Committee in January 2009. He is also vice-president of the American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS), based in Washington, D.C.
Katharine Allen Co-President of InterpretAmerica, LLC, comes from the community and healthcare interpreting fields. She has worked as a freelance English/Spanish interpreter, translator, trainer and consultant since 1991, specializing in healthcare, education, disability, general legal, the environment and international policy issues. She has been owner of Sierra Sky Interpreting & Translation since 1994. Her translation and interpretation clients include a broad range of county and state social service and healthcare agencies, local courts and lawyers, environmental groups in the U.S. and South America, and language service agencies. She works with a translation partner in Chile under Team Translations.
Katharine provides language access consulting services to hospitals and clinics in California. She is co-author of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) Organizational Assessment Tool for Linguistic Access, which is used to help hospitals improve their language access programs. She is also a certified trainer for the Connecting Worlds 40-hour Healthcare Interpreter Training and the CHIA Standards Trainings for interpreters and administrators. She has produced and presented multiple workshops on interpreting and translating in community, healthcare and social service settings.
Katharine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development from Brown University and a Master’s Degree in Translation and Interpretation (MATI) from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She served on the Board of the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) from 2002 through 2009, including a two-year term as President. She also served as Administrative Assistant for the Interpreters’ Division of the American Translators Association (ATA) from 2005 to 2007 and belongs to several other professional translation and interpretation organizations. She has published articles in professional publications and regularly presents on translation, interpretation and language access issues at professional conferences.