Sandy’s passion for ASL and Deaf culture began at an early age. Growing up with a cousin that is Deaf, she felt the compelling drive to be the first in her family to communicate with her fluently. Before the golden age of YouTube, she began learning ASL on her own from library books and eventually was able to enroll in classes during junior year of high school. She quickly fell in love with the language and decided to pursue a degree in ASL Interpreting at Miami-Dade College.
Before graduating from the interpreter training program and beginning her interpreting career in the South Florida area 20 years ago, she volunteered at various schools, the Deaf Service Bureau of South Florida, the Center for Independent Living of South Florida and held various disability advocacy jobs in the community. She currently specializes in medical and behavioral health interpreting, but has also worked as an educational interpreter, a cruise interpreter, a VRS interpreter, a community contract interpreter, an academic advisor for students who are Deaf/HOH, an ADA compliance coordinator, an instructor, and tutor. In addition to holding her degree in ASL Interpreting, she also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Organizational Management and a Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology from Albizu University.
In 2017, Sandy made a move to the Pacific Northwest. Since then, she has become a Certified Medical Interpreter (CoreCHI), a Qualified Mental Health Interpreter (Q-MHI), an Oregon Certified Healthcare Interpreter (OCHI), received supervisor training from Northeastern University’s Center for Atypical Language Interpreting (CALI), served on the Oregon Health Authority’s Council on Health Care Interpreters (OCHCI) and as Secretary for the Oregon Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ORID). She has also been working with Portland Community College as a tutor for ITP students, hosted various medical and behavioral health related workshops and continuously collaborates with other BIPOC interpreters in the community on various projects.
Sandy is nationally certified and as a first-generation Cuban American has been able to offer trilingual interpreting services to the underserved Latinx population in the Portland area. She takes pride in her work ethic, and is always looking to expand her knowledge and skill set with workshops, trainings and educational opportunities. She loves interpreting and is grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Deaf community daily.
Sandy is looking forward to joining the Mano a Mano board as the Region 5 Representative and bringing everyone’s voice to the table by continuing to support the community and profession.