rayni plaster 0

Carla Mathers for Diane Fowler Distinguished Legal Interpreter Award

27 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
rayni plaster 0 Comments
27 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Esteemed Colleagues of the Legal Interpreter Member Section (LIMS-RID),

My name is Rayni Plaster and I am a Certified Deaf Interpreter, member of LIMS, and have been working in legal settings for the past 9 years. I am honored to be writing this letter of nomination for Carla Mathers, Esq, CSC, SC:L for the inaugural Diane Fowler Distinguished Legal Interpreter award.

Normally, with a nomination letter, I would compare the nominee with past winners but being that this is the first, I am pretty terrified that if Carla were to win this award, it would be setting the bar way too high. Carla Mathers and legal interpreting are synonymous.

For the past 20 years, she has taught us what it means to be a legal interpreter, especially in the courtroom. Carla Mathers is the one who brought “best practices in courtroom interpreting” to the profession. Carla not only teaches interpreters the basics of legal and court interpreting, she also teaches advanced topics such as perception conflicts in the courtroom, testifying, subpoenas, consecutive interpreting, and notetaking, along with skill development workshops and legal discourse. Carla Mathers is a teacher.

Carla Mathers has been a proponent of employing Deaf interpreters in legal settings. Her argument that the "accommodation is more than reasonable" offers the interpreting profession an ally, someone genuinely concerned about Deaf people's access to the legal system. Carla's work impacts legal interpreters on both microscopic and personal levels to systematic and policy levels. Carla is a licensed attorney in both DC and Maryland and serves on the Maryland Court Interpreter Advisory committee. Carla has served as Vice President of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) as well as the President and Vice President of the local RID chapter here in Md/Va/DC PCRID. Carla Mathers is a legal interpreting activist.

Macro and micro-level advocate work for the use of Deaf interpreters in legal settings is one of the new frontiers that Carla Mathers explores with passion and commitment but it is not the only one. Carla has more recently been exploring the use of Video remote interpreting and analyzing the potential issues and impact from the use of new technologies in legal settings. Carla Mathers is a legal interpreting pioneer.

Carla has written countless articles, published 2 books on the topic of legal interpreting, written briefs, and prepared statement papers for RID on a variety of legal interpreting topics. Carla was instrumental in the development of the recent ILI conference materials and content. She was also the lead curriculum developer for the upcoming Deaf interpreter legal curriculum (march 2015). Carla Mathers is a researcher and an author.

As the lead for the legal interpreting program at her current position with TCS Associates, she insists on employing Deaf interpreters and legally certified interpreters to do the work. The program she runs also offers a legal interpreting mentoring program. That program is one of the few available in the country for interpreters seeking specialization in legal settings. She also actively works as an interpreter with DC, MD, and VA courts. Carla Mathers is a legal interpreter.

To drive my point home, this award is described as one intended to recognize a person for their contribution to the advancement of the field. I cannot think of any other legal interpreter alive that has made the same level of contribution. Carla’s impact on the field of legal interpreting can be seen and felt across a wide spectrum of persons, entities and institutions over the past 30 years. What Carla has done has laid the foundation for the field to move forward and there is no award in the world that could aptly recognize this person for all she has done.

Carla Mathers is the inaugural recipient of the Diane Fowler Distinguished Legal Interpreter award. There is no doubt in my mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and allow me to recognize Ms. Mathers.


Rayni Plaster, CDI

LIMS Member

Share for Success