Sign Language Interpreter I
Maria Cabanillas, born and raised in Brownsville, TX, began interacting with the Deaf community in 2006. As a hard of hearing person herself, her ability to grasp the visual language of American Sign Language (ASL) seemed to come naturally. She began to learn ASL and to acquire knowledge in the field of interpreting by attending a Bible study group for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and interpreters. Soon she was immersed in the language. After only seven months of signing with the Deaf, she was invited to work as a part-time interpreter for then UTB/TSC. At first she interpreted for vocational/technical classes but soon worked her way up to more advanced courses. After working part-time for two and a half years and half time for about a year, she was offered a full time position as an Interpreter for the Deaf in 2010. In 2012 she passed the BEI Performance exam and earned her Basic certification. She is now working towards Advance level certification.