LaTanya Jones, M.S.M., NIC
LaTanya is an interpreter with thirteen years of interpreting experience. She has worked in a plethora of professional settings, including video relay and video remote settings but her preference is healthcare interpreting. At present, LaTanya is the Director of the Behavioral Health Program at the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. LaTanya is also an adjunct professor at both the Community College of Philadelphia and Camden County College.
A staunch, lifelong advocate for education, LaTanya earned an Associate in Applied Science in American Sign Language/English interpreting from the Community College of Philadelphia, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Fox School of Business at Temple University; continued her studies in ASL linguistics at Gallaudet University and earned a Master of Science in Management from Rosemont College. Currently, LaTanya is a graduate student at Widener University in a dual degree program pursuing a Master in Social Work (MSW) and a Master in Education (MEd) in Human Sexuality.
LaTanya enjoys giving back by volunteering her time and talents. At present, LaTanya sits on the board of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf as the Member at Large; is the Immediate Past Region I Representative, and serves as the Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. In her free time, LaTanya enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
What are your views on the importance of diversity in the sign language interpreting profession?
Thank you for asking my perspectives on this. The short answer is that diversity in our profession is as crucial as oxygen is to the body. Without oxygen, the body cannot and will not survive. The same holds true for our profession. Diversity is important because it makes our profession and the organizations that make up our profession, viable. As individuals, we represent a myriad of lived experiences, cultures, races, ethnicities, languages, etc., and our profession should mirror this.
We are struggling to become more diverse in the IEP classroom, in the field, and on organizational boards that make up our profession. Yes, we have made some headway, but we are not there, yet. Our communities are demanding a more diverse representation of interpreter educators and interpreters, and as a profession, it is our duty to be as diverse, in every aspect, as the communities in which we are in service. We all are responsible for ensuring that anyone who seeks to sit at the table, has a seat. Doing so ensures that the communities we serve, truly feel supported and represented.