Deborah Makowski - Director of SIGN
Phone: 256-589-1227 (v/txt)
SIGN is one of the outreach programs hosted by the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) Special Projects office through their partnership with the NTID Regional STEM Center. SIGN was established to create a mentoring network across the southeast to support and empower interpreters at all stages of their career. SIGN is based at the AIDB North Campus in Decatur, AL.
To connect, support, and empower interpreters
to reach their limitless potential.
Through mentorship, mentor training, infrastructure and resources, the Southeastern Interpreter Guidance Network (SIGN) will build a sustainable network to support and empower interpreters. The SIGN will be recognized for commitment to excellence in service to interpreters and for building an entity committed to serving the Deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind Communities through improved communication access.
Our work is informed and guided by our belief in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We respect all people and demonstrate integrity, compassion, courage, and equanimity in our daily development. We strive for excellence in all that we do.
What we offer:
Peer Mentoring Program
AIDB/SIGN Internship Program
**All of our events, services, and training are offered free of charge**
In keeping with our mission, SIGN recognizes that every interpreter has a contribution to make regardless of their years of experience, training, area of specialization, cultural background, race, gender identity or economic status. We are committed to recognizing and celebrating each person “where they are” in their development and offer interpreters the opportunity to learn about the mentor/mentee process through the lens of the Peer Mentoring Model (PMM). The PMM is a reciprocal model, empowering individuals to give and receive mentoring within its dialogic structure.
SIGN offers the PMM in a structured Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) several times a year to cohorts of 8-12 interpreters.
SIGN pays mentors! We contract with individuals to provide mentoring. Mentors are compensated for time in mentor training and for the time spent mentoring others.
Basic Mentoring Program Structure:
- Interpreters 0-3 years
- Interpreters 3+ years
- ITP students doing practicum/internship, recent ITP graduates
- Working professionals
- Pre-credentialed and credentialed
- Defined by specific goals
- May have specific goals, self directed
- Mentee focused
- More structured and time limited
- Less structured/time variable