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Business Partner Spotlight - MT & Associates, LLC

Shelly Tisius is the owner of MT & Associates, a leading provider of sign-language interpretation services to businesses in the St. Louis Area. She is a proud military wife and Mom and has been a member of SHRM since 2017. Currently, she volunteers on the SHRM STL Programs Committee and has also contributed to the newsletter and Diversity Committee.
  
How did you get into the business of sign language interpretation?

Before my career in interpreting, I specialized in customer service and business. When I entered interpreting, I found that traditional agencies just referred interpreters to customers. The entire service was lacking. This often made the experience neither enjoyable nor smooth. 

After 11 years as a freelance interpreter, I knew I could make the experience better from start to finish. So I opened MT & Associates. Our team gets to know our partners so that we can offer custom solutions which is different than our competitors. We can adapt the solutions over time so that we are always meeting ever-changing needs.

What's one thing you wish more HR practitioners knew about sign language interpretation?

Interpreters are required for equal access to communication under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Still, it shouldn't be treated just as a legal requirement, but a human requirement. 

To meet ADA requirements, you must also consider Missouri law. Anyone providing interpreting services must be certified and licensed appropriately with the State. This means if a colleague or manager interprets, they must be certified, licensed, and comply with MO law. Interpreters not being used according to requirements could create legal issues. However, why wouldn't you want employees to have the accurate information they require to do their job? Not providing interpreting services, or providing unqualified services, puts Deaf employees at a disadvantage, which is the opposite result the ADA seeks.  

What should one of our members know before calling you for sign language services? 

You don't need to know what to do or how to do it. We will partner with you and provide education and training. We'll help you find the most appropriate service for Deaf employees. 

What's something not many people know about you? 

I am a lifelong learner! I have four degrees. But if I had more money and time, I would go to school forever. I love to continue learning about different career fields. I also love to travel and learn more about other cultures.

Connect with Shelly on LinkedIn!