Interview with Sandy Sallee

1. How did you became a disciple? Share brief experiences about your life changing that convicted to follow Christ.

I became a disciple as a high school student in the Latino Ministry in Chicago.  My sister had invited me to church with her.  After attending church and studying the bible for about 8 months I was baptized!  Reading the bible and seeing the heart of God and the sacrifice Jesus made was very impacting.  Realizing that God made this sacrifice for me made me see that I was responsible for it and was willing to do anything to try and show my gratitude for it. 

2. Where did you meet your husband?

I met my husband, Travis, in Phoenix while we were both in the single’s ministry there.  He had been a disciple in the Phoenix church for a few years when I relocated to Arizona. 

3. Where did you learn ASL?

I had the amazing privilege to learn ASL while attending ASLIS (American Sign Language and Interpreting School) in Seattle.  The program was amazing very personable and extremely supportive.  The instructors were phenomenal and my experience is one that I would love others to have.  Unfortunately the school has now closed and it no longer offers classes. 

4. Why did you decide to become a certified trilingual Interpreter?

I became an interpreter after deciding to take some ASL courses because I have a niece who is Deaf. I am from a large Mexican family that predominantly speaks Spanish in the home and noticed how much more difficult it was for her to communicate with family, especially our non-English speaking family. I decided to take an ASL course solely to communicate and include my niece. Wow, was I in for a ride! Once I started my classes I fell in love with the language and Deaf Community and decided to continue with the ASL Deaf Studies and ITP offered. I had an amazing team of instructors and an even more amazing and supportive Community. After graduation in June of 2007 I decided to take a short break to figure out my role as an interpreter and to see if I truly wanted to take it up professionally. Six months later I realized that I absolutely loved interpreting and decided to pursue it as my full time profession and haven’t looked back!  I decided to become certified because I wanted to challenge myself professionally and strive for growth in our profession that is ALWAYS growing and changing.

5. What is your best memory of your interpreter career?

My best memory is when I took my certification exam and passed! 🙂

6. What is your strength and weakness of your interpreter skills?

My strength as an interpreter is knowing what I can and can’t do as an interpreter.  Our profession is one of integrity and I would never want to be thought of as an interpreter that does not have integrity in the work she provides.  My weakness as an interpreter is in the performing arts.  I am NOT a performance interpreter but strive to one day learn the craft and become better at it. 🙂

7. Do you have a goal for the future Deaf Ministry at your church?

Although our church is a small church it would be amazing to have Deaf brothers and sisters and/or other interpreters in our congregation.