Born and raised in Wells, Vermont, Eric Darius came to Gallaudet University to study and develop his interpreting skills. He graduated in 1997 earning his MA in Interpretation. Upon graduating, Eric became a contract interpreter for the Department of Justice and then became a full-time employee as an interpreter for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In 2005, Eric took a job in San Francisco as the EEOC’s first bi-lingual ASL-English investigator also responsible for developing an outreach program for the District EEOC Office. Additionally, he served as the interpreter there. He was promoted in 2009 to his current position as a Supervisory Investigator. Eric is the ASL interpreter for the office and conducts outreach to the Deaf community and other stakeholders.
Eric reflected on his education at Gallaudet and how his experience prepared him for his career. He stated, “My degree and my alliances with Deaf individuals separated me from the other stiff competition in DC when I applied for the position of ASL interpreter at the EEOC.”
His advice for future graduate students? “Go to Gallaudet if you want to hone your already tremendous ASL skills and interpreting skills. Be prepared when you arrive so you may focus on the work of interpreting. Study with the best there is, it is at Gallaudet, and take lots of linguistic classes. It was a great experience and I have a lot of respect for the faculty. I think the staff have only gotten richer as they have hired more exceptionally competent individuals who are dedicated to the lives of interpreters, the Deaf World and providing reasonable accommodation.”