Pioneering Sign Language Interpreter Annette Long Passes Away

Media Contact:
David H. Pierce
March 17, 2011
San Antonio, TX- On March 16, 2011, Annette Marie (Pois) Long passed away in San Antonio, Texas at age 79. She is survived by two siblings, Ellen Wolff and Jerome Pois, two children, Robin L. Byers-O’Rourke and Julie M. Colton and four grandchildren, Jennifer, Rebecca, Cassandra and Daniel Colton.
As the daughter of deaf parents Reuben and Ulah Pois, Annette became a sign language interpreter long before interpreting was considered a profession. Long was actively working as an interpreter before the statewide Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (TSID) and the nationally recognized Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) were formed complete with licensure and certification. Long was one of the contributing figures helping in the formation of RID and a founding member of Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT).
Working with the University of Arizona’s National Interpreter Training Consortium and subsequent grants, she trained interpreters around the country and in the US Trust Territories for many years. Long formed the vocational and interpreter training program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Graduates from this major program have proven to be quality personnel working all over the world. Under her tenure, the program had about 500 students each semester on average.
Long’s specialty has been in legal and medical interpreting. Long developed training materials for this specialization and gave several workshops to certified interpreters over the years. She also developed an unpublished book on medical interpreting with her daughter Robin Byers-O’Rourke. Publication plans of that book are pending.
After thirty years at the University in Arizona, Long retired and relocated to San Antonio, Texas to be with her daughter Robin Byers-O’Rourke. Byers-O’Rourke is currently the owner of San Antonio-based Specialty Interpreters which is an agency specializing in legal, medical, and entertainment interpreting and translation services.
Her other daughter, Julie Colton, is a former Air Force officer. Colton is currently an interpreter working in the central Oregon and Idaho area.


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