After engaging Nathan Garber & Associates to provide consulting services, the AVLIC Board of Directors, Staff, Strategic Planning Committee and members of AVLIC created the following 5 year strategic plan. This plan was ratified by the membership on July 10, 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario and is in effect from July 2010 to July 2015.
This strategic plan includes a new Mission, Vision and Core Value statements that can be found on our Vision, Mission, Core Values, Bylaws and Constitution page.
AVLIC Five-Year Goals and Strategies
The AVLIC Board of Directors has developed this plan around three broad goals to be accomplished by the end of 2015:
- More interpreters achieving the Certificate of Interpretation (COI)
- Greater benefits of AVLIC membership
- Strengthened capacity of AVLIC to deliver programs and services.
To achieve these goals and fulfill our mission, strategies have been developed aimed at the following:
- Provide more opportunities for members to achieve the Certificate of Interpretation
- Provide new and expanded opportunities for professional development
- Enhance the professional and tangible benefits of membership
- Strengthen support to members and Affiliate Chapters
- Strengthen the ability of AVLIC to deliver the programs and services its members need.
The goals and strategies are described below.
1.1. Increase the number of members completing Phase 2 Preparation Workshops by:
- Offering the Narrative and Interactive workshops pre-conference
- Providing limited travel subsidies to enable eligible members to participate in workshops
- Offering workshops via video conference
- Making the presentation portions of the workshop available as a podcast.
1.2. Increase the number of members choosing to take the TOI by:
- Offering a diagnostic assessment in lieu of Phase 2 workshops
- Offering (for a limited period time) the opportunity to take the TOI to members who meet defined criteria, without completing either the Phase 2 Preparation workshops or the diagnostic.
1.3. Conduct a prescriptive review of the CES process to clarify standards and ensure fairness in assessment by:
- Reviewing longitudinal data to determine whether there has been a change in the standard used to determine a pass and whether that standard is consistently applied
- Correlating results of the TOI with variables including the various preparation options described above
- Following up on the review with information or changes in the rating system as necessary
1.4. Provide additional pathways for skill development leading to successful achievement of the COI by:
- Developing additional learning and diagnostic videos for interpreting in education, medical, and other settings
- Updating the Written Test of Knowledge (WTK)
- Assessing the feasibility of revisions to the rating system to allow for outcomes other than pass/fail.
1.5. Provide additional methods to recognize demonstrated interpreting skills and knowledge by:
- Enhancing the recognition that a member has passed the WTK
- Developing methods for evaluation of Deaf interpreters
- Investigating specialist evaluations for various settings e.g. educational interpreters proficiency assessment used by some school boards
- Investigating recognition for years of professional experience beyond COI
- Completing the development of standards and procedures for maintaining one's certification after passing the COI.
2.1. Improve communication between AVLIC and members by reviewing effectiveness and usefulness of current communication methods. This may involve a number of initiatives including but not limited to the following:
- Web 2.0
- Making better use of website and explore ways to use Web 2.0 interactive tools (e.g., blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to facilitate member-to-member communication
- Using podcasts to share information and knowledge with members.
- Distribution of AVLIC Information
- Improving e-mail news distribution, ensuring relevance
- Improving Fast Facts and emails to provide more content in a more concise format (e.g. bullet points, links to website for more details)
- Making it easier to discern personally relevant content (e.g. colour codes)
- Providing bios of Board of Directors and committee members
- Providing summaries of Board of Directors meetings
- Improving access to knowledge base through AVLIC News
- Publishing papers & proceedings from AVLIC conference
- Asking Conference Planning Committee to ask presenters for their articles
2.2. Provide more opportunities for learning and professional development by:
- Utilizing internet technology and traveling workshops:
- Developing professional development sessions via video conferencing, web streaming, podcasts, etc.
- Providing links or original resources online (theses, articles, AEIP resource lists, workshop presenters from conferences or from AC workshops, RID resources, etc)
- Developing partnerships with employers to sponsor professional development events
- Planning professional development events associated with AVLIC Board meetings
- Developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to seek and contract with trainers to present workshops in local communities
- Exploring feasibility of establishing special skills development units (SSDU) or special skills recognition units (SSRU) – see Goal 1.5
- Establishing Special Interest Groups for AVLIC Conferences (SIGs)
- Encouraging involvement by the Board of Directors and members of AVLIC in special interest groups: e.g.
- educational interpreters
- video relay service interpreters
- Deaf interpreters
- community interpreters
- Hosting special interest group meetings at conferences
- Supporting SIG activities between conferences.
- Encouraging involvement by the Board of Directors and members of AVLIC in special interest groups: e.g.
- Investigating opportunities through different types of publications
- Exploring feasibility of publishing conferencing proceedings.
2.3. Expand and enhance membership benefits by:
- Revisiting the viability of group insurance plans (liability, health, life)
- Exploring other types of group discounts, affinity programs for bookstores, travel, gyms, etc.
2.4. Provide support to strengthen Affiliate Chapters by:
- Providing Affiliate Chapter executives with governance support upon request, including training, sample policies, job descriptions, etc.
- Sharing effective practices, administrative tools, etc. among the Affiliate Chapters
- Using AVLIC Board meetings to better identify needs, share resources, and build relationships with Affiliate Chapters
- Expanding opportunities for regular dialogue between AVLIC president and Affiliate Chapter presidents
- Seeking additional ways to provide support to Affiliate Chapter presidents and other Board members
- Improving the AVLIC Board of Director's presence at Affiliate Chapters' annual general meetings with personal or video message by AVLIC president
- Improving the relationship between the AVLIC Affiliate Chapter liaison and each Affiliate Chapter
- Exploring ways to improve support of Affiliate Chapters' professional development activities.
2.5. Strengthen advocacy role of AVLIC and support advocacy efforts of Affiliate Chapters and organizations for the Deaf by:
- Initiating or strengthening efforts to inform employers of the benefits of hiring AVLIC members (through correspondence, flyers, videos, etc.). AVLIC will focus on federal employers and will assist Affiliate Chapters in marketing to employers within their jurisdiction
- Strengthening links and encouraging cross-membership with Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) and Canadian Cultural Society for the Deaf; seeking their involvement in development of certification for Deaf Interpreters.
3.1. Increase membership by:
- Designing a recruitment campaign to increase membership numbers;
- Exploring potential discounts, refer-a-friend campaign, volunteer rewards
- Targeting students, educational interpreters, and employers or contractors of interpreting services to become members and hire members.
3.2 Strengthen administrative capacity by:
- Increasing our part-time administrative position to full-time, effective immediately
- Developing cost projections, job description, and management structure leading to the hiring of an executive director within the next three years
- Hiring a project manager on a one-year contract effective Sept 2010 to Sept 2011 to oversee implementation of the strategic plan (job description and location to be determined). Extension of contract will depend upon progress made, available funds, and feasibility of hiring an executive director.
3.3 Strengthen volunteer capacity by:
- Reviewing and revising Board of Directors and committee structures and job descriptions to facilitate implementation of strategic plan
- Developing an incentive program for volunteering for AVLIC
At the 2008 Annual General Meeting, AVLIC members approved a motion authorizing the Board of Directors to develop a strategic plan (Motion STJ08G-17). After engaging Nathan Garber & Associates to provide consulting services, the project began with a series of teleconference focus groups and an online survey of members. The information gathered from 92 members through these methods was summarized and provided to the Board of Directors, staff and Strategic Planning Committee. For planning purposes, the following were identified as the key issues and concerns expressed by members:
Issues of Greatest Concern to Members:
- Canadian Evaluation System: process, rating, and relevance
- Lack of professional development opportunities
- Do not feel they get enough benefit from AVLIC
- Impact of VRS-VRI on availability of community interpreters, working conditions, certification
- Future role of interpreters in a world of cochlear implants and other medical/technological advances
- Majority of committee members do not think their committee is making adequate progress
What Members Want Most
- Assurance of quality / protection of Deaf and hearing parties from inadequate interpreting
- Standards of practice / certification of competency
- Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct
- Opportunity to improve skills and knowledge
- To be respected as professionals
- To be recognized as professional interpreters vs. those who know how to sign (title protection)
- To have a community of support
- To have a body of professional knowledge (scholarly research)
- To have a set of standard professional practices (e.g. dispute resolution procedure)
- To be consulted on policy and legislation affecting services to and communication with Deaf people
- To have safe and healthy working conditions
- To be paid equitably for their services
Board of Directors, Staff and Strategic Planning Committee Role
On October 24 and 25, 2009 the Board of Directors and staff met to review the key issues, review the AVLIC mission statement, and develop goals to be achieved by the end of 2015. On October 25th a member of the Strategic Planning Committee joined the staff and the Board of Directors.
The mission statement was re-written to include statements of vision, mission and values. Four linked issues were identified as essential to be addressed if AVLIC is to be able to fulfill its mission:
- Increase member satisfaction
- The need for a larger membership base, increase member number
- Maintain a fair and accessible evaluation system
- Ensure AVLIC's members trust the evaluation system by improving communication to members regarding its processes and rating.
An initial set of goals were developed to address these issues seen as critical to the future of AVLIC.
Following the strategic planning session, the revised mission, vision, values, and goals were distributed to members in English and ASL. Members were invited to comment via an online survey and telephone conference calls. More than 120 members replied and their comments were circulated to the Board of Directors, staff and Strategic Planning Committee.
On January 16 and 17, 2010, at a joint planning session, the Board of Directors, staff and Strategic Planning Committee reviewed member comments and revised the goals, developing one or more strategies for implementing each goal over the next five years. For some goals, more specific plans were developed, indicating the sequence for implementing strategies and specific steps to be taken in the first year of the plan.
Decision to Hire a Project Manager - Executive Director
The participants reviewed the financial condition of AVLIC and rough estimates of income and expenditures for the next few years. As detailed budgets were not yet available, the AVLIC Board of Directors concluded that there were sufficient unrestricted funds to be able to increase our current capacity for the administrative manager's position.
It was also determined that there were sufficient unrestricted funds available in AVLIC's operating accounts to hire an individual to take charge of implementing the strategic plan for at least one year without any risk to the association. Initially, the position title will be Project Manager with a specific job description to be developed when the plan is approved. After one year, the position will be reviewed and a decision made as to one of the following options:
- Extend the contract of the project manager
- Replace the project manager position with that of an executive director
- Reconsider the staffing needs and configuration based upon progress in implementing the strategic plan and the financial condition of the association.