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Debra Gorra Barash

Debra Gorra Barash is a nationally recognized professional sign language interpreter. Over the past 35-plus years, Debra has earned numerous specialty and advanced certificates that include the Specialty Certificate: Legal from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), Qualified Mental Health Interpreting (QMHI) credential, and Family Mediation Certificate. Debra is especially proud of the Wisconsin SCR 63, Code of Ethics for Court Interpreters, as she chaired the subcommittee that authored these guidelines.

For more than 10 years, Debra served as a vital member of the Committee to Improve Interpreting and Translation in the Wisconsin Courts, under the Honorable Chief Justice Abrahamson. Debra presents various professional training sessions at conferences such as the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, Wisconsin Judicial College, Wisconsin District Attorney Conference, Court Commissioners Conference, Court Reporter Conference, Wisconsin Guardian ad Litem Conference and the Hmong Interpreter Conference. In addition, Debra has served as mentor, trainer and teacher in various professional programs, such as WisRID Legal Training Program, UWM Interpreter Training Program, and both the Wisconsin and Minnesota Orientation Programs for Court Interpreters.

With her college degree in business administration, Debra has extensive business experience that has served her well over the past 30 years. After being awarded the Wisconsin Chapter of RID (WisRID) Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the profession of interpreting, Debra founded and co-owned Professional Interpreting Enterprise, LLC, a successful Sign Language Interpreting company, which has been recognized as an innovative leader in its field for quality service. The Ramp UP the Conversation Interpreter and ISP conference recognized Debra for her vital role in establishing and upholding the high standards that guarantee language access in our diverse communities. In addition to her entrepreneurial journey, Debra served as an executive director for two nonprofit organizations.

She has experience serving on various committees relating to ethics and ethical behavior, character and fitness issues, disciplinary complaints and grievance appeals cases on both state and national levels. Combining her unique and diverse interpreting, training and business background, Debra continues to be called upon to conduct seminars specializing in legal interpreting, understanding ethical behaviors and the roles of interpreters in the legal system. She also offers consulting services and serves as an expert witness on interpreting issues.

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