Lewis Merkin, CDI, New York was conscripted into interpreting by dint of being the "hard of hearing" child in an all-Deaf family.
Studiously avoiding any thought of the profession, he
went on to have successful careers as an actor (Broadway, off-Broadway, national and international companies), a produced playwright (3 productions) and a community educator (GLAD- AIDS Education for the Deaf and Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services) before realizing 13 years ago that not only was interpreting a viable career choice, but that he
thoroughly enjoyed the intellectual challenge and the camaraderie.
At that point, he
set out to become certified and to dive headlong into the profession and RID
is a staff interpreter with the NYC Department of Education.
Specialty areas include Deaf-Blind
, sign to voice, medical, and VRS interpreting.
He served four years on the board of NYC Metro RID (including a term as President), then shifted his attention to the national level where he was chair of the Deaf Members in Leadership Committee (2004-2009), as well as chair of the 2009 Conference Program Committee.
was the recipient of the Judie Husted Leadership Award for Region 1 in 2005.
An ongoing concern has been the diminishing voice of RID's original stakeholders: the Deaf and CODA communities as the association has grown.
For this reason, he
felt it imperative to ensure that RID's heritage be represented at the Board level.
commitment is to bring the Deaf-Heart back to RID