Raphael (Ray) James, M.S., IC/TC, TCDHH-IV/CIC, ASLTA, is currently a faculty member at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the Interpreter Education Program (appointment began in the fall 1992).
Mr. James is the fourth child of five born into the home of an apostolic minister. With this influence, his beginnings in the field of deafness began at church, learning the language and having his first interpreting experience in the religious settings. He has served as a statewide deaf ministries coordinator in Texas and as a missionary to New Life Deaf Ministries in Honduras ( Ministero De Sordos Nueva Dida; Tegucigalpa , Honduras ).
He received a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with emphasis in Deafness from the University of Arkansas ( Fayetteville ) in 1995, and received a Bachelor of Theology from International Bible Seminary in Portsmouth , Florida , 1988. He achieved and maintains licenses as an interpreter (Court Interpreter Certified-TX) with the Texas Board of Evaluation for Interpreters (BEI) under the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DARS) since 1980, and national certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) since 1987. Mr. James has been involved in deafness and interpretation for more than thirty years with the last seventeen years as a professional educator. He is the Project Coordinator of Preparation of Educational Interpreters at the Associate and Baccalaureate Levels, a federal grant awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) through the Department of Education, Washington , DC . Mr. James was recognized by the Arkansas Leadership Academy for his contribution with excellence toward the implementation of the Distance Teaching and Learning Seminar at UALR.
Mr. James served as adjunct instructor in the Houston Community College System, Communication with the Deaf Program, and has provided workshops, seminars, and presentations on various topics across the country and internationally. He received the Lillian Beard Interpreter of the Year award from the Deaf Community of Greater Houston, Texas (1990), recognition for distinguished service from the Greater Houston Interpreters for the Deaf (1992), and was awarded the Harry and Sally Bolton Award for outstanding achievement in Rehabilitation Counseling Education (with emphasis in Deafness - 1995). In 1999, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. awarded him with the Distinguished Service Award, and in 2002, UALR’s College of Education selected him for the Faculty Excellence Award in Public Service.
Mr. James is politically active in interpreter organizations nationally and has served as president of the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ARID) as well as the Greater Houston Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. He was involved for nine years with the development of the Certification Maintenance Program for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. He served as the Chairperson of the Professional Development Committee of RID, which administers certification maintenance, for five of those years. He served on the Affiliate Chapter Relations Committee and has edited a web-based publication called Affiliate Chapter Handbook (http://www.rid.org/handbook.html). He is currently involved with the provision of leadership training for affiliate chapters.