Interpreting Without Limits
Katey Bartie ’07 puts her sign language interpreting skills to use in just about every setting as an independent contractor interpreter. In each of these settings, she strives to leave a legacy of advocacy and compassion through her interpreting.
Ten years ago, she began an internship at a non-profit agency, Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc., to fulfill her Bethel practicum hours. They later hired her as a staff interpreter. She continued to work in higher education as an adjunct professor teaching interpreting at various colleges.
Today, she works as a freelance interpreter for Deaf Community Services, CLIP Interpreting, CareVacations (an agency that provides interpreters for cruises around the world), and a few other small agencies. Most of her work is interpreting spoken English into American Sign Language or Tactile ASL.
“I work with d/Deaf people of all walks of life, who trust me with their secrets, and I’m given the privilege of sharing in their moments,” she says.
Bartie’s diverse assignments show there are no limits to what you can do as an interpreter.
“I’ve had the honor (9 times now!) of being in the room when a Deaf mother was giving birth. I’ve interpreted for Deaf husbands and wives giving their vows on their wedding days. And I’ve interpreted onstage in a Marilyn Monroe costume (with the blonde wig!) in front of hundreds of people for a Deaf Blind man dressed as Elvis.”
These experiences are just a few from Bartie’s hundreds of assignments. With so many meaningful opportunities, it is nearly impossible for her to pick a favorite.
Bethel’s Sign Language Interpreting program prepared her well for these experiences. Angela Myers, associate professor of sign language interpreting, was a professor who poured into her.
“To say I have a strong personality would be an understatement. Angela helped soften my sharp edges in a way that changed the course of my life. I’m forever grateful to her and to how she challenged me,” Bartie says.
Professors not only invested in her academically, but holistically. Bethel’s environment also gave her the space to ask questions and experience the love of God.
“As deep calls to deep, I found myself able to have the space (the empty chapel auditorium) and the resources (classes, RAs and RDs, professors, counselors, friends and classmates) to ask the hardest questions and love God not only with my heart but also my mind.”
Bartie carries this love of God into her work today by being an advocate through her interpreting. It is her goal to be an empowering ally to her d/Deaf friends and colleagues.
“I want people to know I strived to be a good interpreter and advocate, because I care personally for the people I worked with…I want the mark I leave to be access, and the sentiment felt, love.”