Jose is a New York native from The Bronx. Nurtured by his parents who are both Deaf, he has been involved in the Deaf community all of his life. Jose has witnessed his parents struggle with communication access all of his life and was often utilized as an interpreter at a young age. Interpreting was not his initial career option, however circumstances has led him into the field he now enjoys and he has been interpreting and giving back to the Deaf community ever since. His continued efforts shows in his commitment to further his education in interpreting after a decade already working in the field by joining an ITP program and being apart of the June 2016 graduating class.
Jose first joined NYC Metro RID in 2014, serving as a Director at Large (DAL). After having witnessed much of struggles interpreters have faced through his time in the field, he wanted to do something about it and a conversation about the state of the interpreting profession with a colleague, lead him to Metro. Jose has worked on a few committees as a DAL, mostly focusing on the Communications end of NYC Metro RID and the developing workshops with NYC Metro RID’s Professional Development Committee.
Jose received his AA degree from Bronx Community College in Liberal Arts/ Psychology and pursued his BS in Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School at NYU. After a year, he realized his heart wasn’t in becoming a Psychologist and delved deeper into his craft of interpreting. He entered LaGuardia Community College’s ASL-English Interpretation Program in 2014 and was nominated and voted President of NYC Metro RID in 2016.
Fun Fact: Jose is a Hip-Hop dancer, who studied the art-form, trained and performed for many years.
Contact Jose at email@example.com
Jason was born in Orange Country, California and was named Who's Who Among Americas High School Students in 1996 and 1997, graduating from Rancho Verde HS before joining the US Navy. After Basic Training, Jason returned to California to pursue religious and college training. Taking American Sign Language as an elective course in college opened him up to a new world and new challenges of being the outsider. During his college years, Jason worked at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside as support staff from the Riverside Unified School District working with non-verbal students (hearing and Deaf) who have disabilities which limit their ability to hear/speak.
In 2003, Jason moved to the sunny city of Buffalo, NY, after being offered full time freelance opportunities. Once all his sandals and shorts were unpacked, he quickly realized it's much colder in Western NY than in Orange County. Jason worked in and around Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca until he decided to move to New York City in 2006.
Since his relocation to NYC, Jason has lived in Flatbush, and then Gravesend, Brooklyn. His Brooklyn-related strengths are saying coffee with an accent, finding his favorite seat on the train, and knowing what real South Brooklyn pizza is supposed to taste like. (It's nothing like Dominos' version)
His work experience across New York State includes being an advocate for the Deaf at the Niagara Frontier Center for Independent Living, consultant for various interpreting referral agencies, ASL Instructor, and of course interpreting. Currently Jason is serving as Vice President on the Board of the NYC Metro Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), is on the Populations Committee for the Health Advisory Body of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, and is planning on developing his skills in Mental Health Interpreting, VRI services, and is constantly looking for ways to expand accessibility services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Fun Fact: Jason grew up on a California farm with chickens, goats, hens, roosters, sheep, pigs, and horses. And he's glad to be in New York where he doesn't have to clean up for any of them.
Contact Jason at VicePresident@nycmetrorid.org
Tim Smith is from Staten Island New York. Serving on the board last year as Director at Large, this year he has moved into the Secretary Position. He has been involved with Sign Language and his local Deaf community since 2010. He attended the College of Staten Island, during which he served as Vice President of the ASL club as well as serving on the board of directors of his local chapter of NYPIRG. After that Tim attended the Seymour Joseph Institute of American Sign Language for his professional training. Since graduating in 2015 he has worked in a variety of different settings to quench his thirst to learn and to be part of the Deaf/ Interpreter communities.
Fun Fact: Tim Plays piano and likes to try and learn other languages in his spare time.
Contact Tim at Secretary@nycmetrorid.org
Now entering her third year on the board, Danielle is excited to represent members as a Director at Large. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from William Paterson University in Communications and Masters in Teaching from St. Peter’s University. While working at the New York School for the Deaf in the daytime, Danielle attended night classes at Union County College’s ASL/English Interpreting Program. Since graduation in 2014, Danielle has been working as a full time freelance and educational interpreter in NYC and NJ. She has taken the EIPA, passed the NIC written exam, and is actively preparing for national certification. Danielle is a born and raised Jersey girl, but loves working and playing in NYC.
Fun fact: Danielle loves to travel and has interpreted retreats for Deaf children in Jamaica and various tours in Thailand!
Contact Danielle at Directoratlarge1@nycmetrorid.org
Erika Murray, our new Director at Large, is a passionate, fun-loving CODA from Maryland who moved to the NY Metro area in November 2016. Erika has jumped right in and is ready to fully contribute to the Board and its members.
Erika comes from a large Deaf family and grew up fully immersed in ASL language and culture. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Studies from Towson University in Towson, Maryland. One of her key accomplishments was spearheading a pilot study that highlights new and innovative ways to provide Internet access through ASL. The study was published in the Warwick University International Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Since she graduated in 2013, Erika has interpreted in various settings, such as VRS, educational, and general freelance. She enjoys getting a taste of everything the field has to offer.
In addition to sharpening her professional craft, Erika has an unwavering commitment to developing herself as a leader and community member. She is currently a performance coach in a renowned and rigorous leadership program.
Fun Fact: Erika thrives on nature and the outdoors and enjoys leading an active lifestyle of snowboarding, yoga, and hiking.
Contact Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Ciffairy, holds an MA degree from NYU in Deafness Rehabilitation and a certificate from Long Island University/CW Post in School District Administration. He has worked as a word processing instructor for Deaf and Hard of Hearing employees on Wall Street; as a job placement counselor for Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers at NY Society for the Deaf; as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population at the former VESID (now ACCES). He was a teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the NYC public school system for ten years and most recently was Assistant Principal Organization for twelve years. From 1988-1996, Bill was an active member of the NY City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) where he served as Vice-Chairman for two years, was baritone section representative for a year and was the music librarian for a number of years. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the NYCGMC for an additional year and a half. Over the years, Bill has interpreted in a variety of venues including Broadway, Paper Mill Playhouse, Metropolitan Museum of Art, AIDS Walk and the NYCGMC concerts.
Fun Fact: In his spare time, Bill enjoys the theatre, opera, concerts, bowling and reading, not to mention good food and good wine!
Contact Bill at Directoratlarge3@nycmetrorid.org
Originally from Baltimore, Patrick moved to NYC last year as a freelance interpreter and has quickly become involved in both the Deaf and Interpreting communities. He is new to the Board and is proud to join NYC Metro RID as Director at Large!
Patrick comes from a large family of 19 brothers and sisters with a Deaf Sister and a Deaf Aunt. His single mother founded a non-profit in Baltimore for the DeafPlus population, whom he grew up with. He worked there as a Braille teacher to their Deaf-Blind Day Program while attending the Interpreter Training program at CCBC in Catonsville, MD.
In both the DC and NYC Metro areas, Patrick has worked and collaborated with many of the companies and agencies providing ASL Interpretation services. Back home he worked in the Washington DC Metro area in the Government setting and has travelled the country for his interpreting work in the Performing Arts. He also started a program in Baltimore that helps provide ASL Interpreters to small theaters that are unable to pay for it, providing access to Baltimore's unique and immersive theater culture. He believes theater should be accessible to all people who want to participate.
That being said, you will probably find him in a theater watching a show. He goes often with the belief that every show deserves to be seen at least twice.
Fun Fact: Patrick is a former dancer and began dancing at a very young age. He performed with groups all the way through high school, graduated from a performing arts high school, and trained at The Alvin Ailey School here in NYC!
Contact Patrick at Directoratlarge4@nycmetrorid.org
Colton Wakefield is a NYC transplant from Texas. He is excited to join NYC Metro RID as an Associate Representative. He attended Texas Tech University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Criminology. After graduation he attended Gallaudet’s summer ASL program which inspired him to attend San Antonio College’s interpreter training program. Since graduation, he started working as a freelance interpreter in Texas and continued working in NYC. He has recently started law school as a full-time student at Fordham University School of Law and continues to maintain a balance between school and preparing for national certification.
Fun Fact: When Colton is not studying, he is always on the hunt to find the best Tex-Mex food in Manhattan.
Contact Colton at AssociateRep@nycmetrorid.org