Distinguished Staff Award
Recognizes Outstanding Service to the University by Its Staff
DEPARTMENT: Disability Services Office
ON THE JOB: Sign Language Interpreter Coordinator; eight years at UW
ACHIEVEMENTS: Matthews had an immediate impact when she came to UW. She coordinated sign-language services, set standards for newly employed interpreters, established clear procedures for billing and organized a social lunchtime group for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. She developed a pool of more than 40 sign-language interpreters on all three campuses to help those who are deaf and hard of hearing all over UW—lecture goers, patients at UW Medical Center and even persons with traveling needs. She volunteers as a UW Commencement Marshall and gives vacation time every year to serve as an interpreter at a summer camp for those who are deaf and blind.
QUOTE: "She is both personally and professionally invested in this work and has a genuine desire to improve the understanding of the culture of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. To her, educating others on the deaf and hard of hearing culture is a way of life, which is why she is so good at what she does." —Cristi Abbe Thielman, UW Disabled Student Services