About the instructor
Video in ASL - text below.
Susi Bolender took her first ASL class at the CHS in Mississauga Ontario in 1990. Eventually, she moved to British Columbia and completed programs at both Vancouver Community College and later the ASL Interpreting program at Douglas College, graduating in 2004. Being overly energetic in those years, she launched her own referral agency soon after she graduated. The hope was to empower users of interpreters to choose their preferred interpreter, which was the guiding principle and the name of the company she established encouraging consumer choice, Preferred Interpreters Inc.
Along the way, she returned to school and got a BA in Human Services, and later her interest in mental health pulled her back to school once again to complete a Masters in Counselling Psychology. Torn between two professions, Susi straddled the line trying to bring both her passions together. Her master's thesis was regarding the shortage of accessible services to the Deaf community in mental health settings. With a lack of training programs for interpreters that specialized in mental-health interpreting and very few ASL-fluent clinicians, Susi started providing workshops and speaking at professional interpreting conferences to support the professional development of ASL interpreters wanting to expand their services into mental health but feeling uncertain about their competency.
In 2020, when we were all forced to evaluate our lives, Susi decided to expand Preferred Interpreters and rebrand to Sign Referral Services Inc. This venture would do what Susi did best, bring talented people together and close gaps in services with creative solutions and partnerships. One of those ideas grew into this program. This course offers interpreters a way to increase confidence in mental health settings with a structured online program. It covers the essentials and is thoughtfully designed by a clinical counsellor AND a certified interpreter.
Susi spent 9 months of 2020 researching, reviewing, and revising material on counselling fundamentals and interpreting resources to cover all aspects of foundational importance for interpreters wanting to work in mental health. With her education in interpreting, along with her education as a clinical counsellor, she could comb through the vast resources available and customize a learning tool that would be most efficient for interpreters to have an understanding of how a clinician thinks and what an interpreter needs to know.
The result is this online module-based completion certificate program that is the equivalent of 3 full days of training.
Susi currently is in private practice providing 1-1 counselling and continues to expand her consulting work for individuals and programs interested in supporting those with hearing loss and concurrent mental health challenges as well as continually advocating for the advancement of the Sign Language Interpreting field and doing her best to spread awareness to push accessibility in mental health services (see article below).
A personal note:
I have poured all my experience into the consideration of which resources I selected, and I hope you will find the structure of this online class helpful in your practice. I chose to call the school “Legacy Insights Learning” because I hope to grow the platform with contributions of other talented professionals that are straddling the line of their interpreting career AND some other specific knowledge that should be shared before exiting the profession to support the growth and development of future generations of interpreters. Here's to our collective expansion.