Meet The Interpreters
Lori Civello (she/her) is a Sign Language interpreter, mentor, instructor, and student. She holds her National Certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID). Lori is a lifelong learner and practitioner. She grew up in Queens, NY with Deaf parents, and attended Union County College in NJ to obtain her associate's degree in ASL-English Interpreting. She then went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in Interpreting and Professional Communications from Sienna Heights University, where she also received a master's degree in Higher Educational Leadership. Lori continues her learning and builds her practice on the Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI), a cognitive and self-reflective approach that makes space for people to analyze their work within a non-evaluative, organic framework that puts the community first. Lori is most proud of her participation at the Etna Project, a yearly retreat-style gathering that allows participants to disarm and connect with themselves and the work, guided by Betty Colonomos.
Chelsey learned ASL while growing up with a Deaf friend. She is a freelance interpreter and interpreter educator (adjunct instructor). Chelsey attended Union County College, NJ to obtain her AAS in ASL-English interpretation. She completed her BA degree in humanities through Thomas Edison State University and is currently working on the completion of her master's degree in professional communication. She holds the National Interpreter Certification through RID, and EIPA credentials. Since 2018, Chelsey has been a student and practitioner of the Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI). Chelsey uses the IMI as a framework for her mentoring and interpreting work because it aligns with her philosophy of meeting students and colleagues where they are in order to expand their understanding of their own work and process. Delving into the why behind the interpreting process, instead of merely looking at the interpretation on its own, is the most exciting part of mentoring and deliberate practice for Chelsey. She has mentored many students and recent grads through the years and has hosted several workshops and deliberate practice activities for students and interpreters of all skill levels.
Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI)
Please click on the link above to learn more about the Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI), IMI workshops, and programs.
How does the IMI impact your time here at The Sign Space?
IMI Practitioners to us means that we are devoted to our practice and its evolution to make meaningful connections between people. This applies not only to our interpreting practice but to the workshops and mentorships you will experience here.
The workshops and mentorship provided here are student-centered, peer-driven and discussion based. We prioritize space for self-reflection, conversation, and application over lecturing. We also incorporate the use of non-evaluative language (using a framework called "CRP language"--more information on this can be found at the link above). This application permits us to focus on the individual "Why" behind the process, and take the spotlight off of the interpreting product, as well as the interpreter themselves. This means that this is a space where we can be ourselves and not let other people's opinions hinder our development.
Our intention is always to ensure we are contributing to the community by promoting ethical and meaningful interpreting services, by being open respectful allies to all.
The Full Story
Lori and Chelsey met as sign language interpreting students at the Union County College Sign Language Interpreter training program (ITP). They met in Elieen Forestal Ph.D. Linguistics of Sign Language - which was their favorite class in the interpreting educational program. Whilst in college Chelsey was also an American Sign Language tutor, and Lori spent her time as president of the Sign Language Club, hosting community events for students and the Deaf community.
Lori and Chelsey were drawn together by their drive as they were equally committed to their studies and their local Deaf Community. Lori is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and Chelsey has Sign Language interpreters in her family. They were both recipients of scholarships and Interpreting Student academic awards.
After graduation, Lori and Chelsey continued to work and study together. They feel extremely lucky to have many of their first jobs with each other so that many more hours of debriefing and reflective constructive and supportive conversation were had. They both also worked as Job Coaches for Vocational Rehab (VR) Services for the Deaf and Hard of hearing. In addition to this Lori worked with Deaf-Blind Individuals as a Support Service provider (SSP) and eventually as a trainer and coordinator for The College of New Jersey SSP program.
Lori and Chelsey also would host master classes for sign language interpreting with local interpreters they wanted to mentor with. Additionally and arguably their favorite events were the weekly Interpreter Chats -- which were informal discussions with working interpreters to provide advice and guidance on getting into the field of interpreting and translation.
Despite graduating, working, building a sign language interpreting practice, getting married, and having kids, Lori and Chelsey were often called back to their Interpreter training program to now mentor and work with the students there.
This opportunity lead to them coming together and creating learning spaces that were supportive and diverse.
In the decade that followed, Lori and Chelsey were able to transition to full-time Sign language interpreters / Educational Interpreters. Their greatest experience was the opportunity to team interpret for that very same Linguistics of sign language class they met in ten years and five kids later.
Now Lori and Chelsey were able to mentor instructional practices at Montclair State University, (Montclair, New Jersey) and have become adjunct instructors and get to co-teach together not only at their old ITP / IEP but also online at Fredericks Community College. Fredericks Maryland.
Lori is also an adjunct at Georgia State University Sign Language interpreter program (SPLP) in Atlanta GA
Lori and Chelsey are still learning and growing together, most of the time if they are not prepping for classes they teach, mentor groups they are facilitating, they study at the BMC Center (VistBMC.Com), learning from Betty Colonomos, and are committed IMI practitioners (Integrated model of interpreting, aka the Colonomos model).
Lori and Chelsea are now coming together again to not only provide Sign langue interpreting services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind communities but also as mentors and trainers for individuals looking to get into this as a career, those who want to develop their own reflective practice and join a supportive collaborative community.