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RID Conference Reports – Arrival Day – Sunday

By Kalen Beck

For those of you who may not be familiar with RID, let me take a moment and summarize the organization and why I attended this conference.  RID stands for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (  RID is a national membership organization representing the professionals who facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who hear.  Our biennial conferences present opportunities for professional development, networking and conducting industry business. 

This year our conference was held July 17-22, 2011 in Atlanta, GA in the Marriott Marquis hotel.  As with arrival day of any RID conference, I know I will be faced with long lines at check-in since our conference attendance is nearly 2,000 folks.  However, time spent in line brings with it many hugs, elated joy of seeing old friends, and lots of pictures of growing kids, dogs and families.   I have learned to cherish “check-in” time seeking out who will be at the conference this year.

After check-in and unloading my suitcase for the week, I headed straight to registration where more hugs, squeals of excitement and stories were exchanged!  Plans for dinners, lunches and attending workshops together got underway!  It’s amazing how you may not see a colleague for two years, but if feels as though there has not been a lapse at all when the conversations start to flow.  It was good to hear what is happening with many of my fellow interpreters from Sign Language Associates. 

The evening was spent with a dear friend, Denise Kight, from… Maryland… that I don’t see except for at conferences!  (It’s sad we both have to travel 2 hours by plane to have dinner with one another when we live just around the beltway from each other!)  Then off to my room to figure out and plan my week – too many workshops, forums and professional discussions and not enough time to do them all!