top of page
_MG_0187.jpg

 Hello.

 My name is, Susan "Sue" Springer, i'm a Nationally Certified Sign Language Interpreter with 25+ years experience and a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I grew up on a Beef Farm in Southwestern Wisconsin before venturing out to College and travel then returning to the same area to raise my family.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certified Grief Support Specialist (2023- Present)

  • QPR Trainer (October 2015- Present)

  • Nationally Certified Transliterator (CT) from RID (July 2007-Present)

  • Department of Public Instruction Educational Interpreter License (July 1997-Present)

  • DSPS (October 2013 - Present)

 

EDUCATION

Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin (May 2004)

  • Master’s Degree: Marriage and Family Therapy

  • Field work focused on at risk families that were court ordered to receive in home therapy.

Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (May 1997)

  • Associates Degree: Interpreter Training Program

  • Internship was at Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) in Madison (1997) interpreting for deaf and hard of hearing adults.

Viterbo College, Lacrosse, WI (Dec. 1993)

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree: Sociology and Human Services

  • Field Experience focused on Working with at risk children, abused women and children, and incarcerated juvenile delinquents (Belize, Central America)

Additional Course Work Taken in Sign Language/Interpreting at following Colleges:

  • Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI (Fall Semester 2023)

  • Mental Health Interpreter Training Institute, Birmingham , AL (August , 2014 & 2023)

  • University Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (August 2011, July 1994)

  • Gallaudet University, Washington D.C (June 2007, June 2000, June 1997)

My Story

Life Experience

If you want to get to know me, you have to know where I come from and what shaped me into who I am today. I grew up in the 1970's on a beef farm in Wisconsin which is undoubtedly where I learned my work ethic and percervievence. Upon graduating high school from a class of 63 students I wanted to venture out and see what was beyond the boundaries of my beautiful small town atmosphere. I traveled to LaCrosse & MIlwaukee, Wisconsin for my first taste of independence and loved it. There I had the opportunity to meet a variety of people from diverse backgrounds and found a spark in myself for learning new cultures and experiences far beyond the classroom. I found when I travel I have a thirst for the locals versus the traditional tourist experiences. Once graduating from these programs I started to focus on my personal life; fell in love, got married and had three beautiful children. My children all came with in 18 months and yes, if you're doing the impossible math, I had a set of twins after my first child.  I was accepted into my Graduate School in Madison when the twins were infants.  Juggling life, family, work and school became hectic, but it's crazy what can become "normal" in your life. Honestly, all of these experiences made me stronger and who I am today.

 

The one life experience that I thought would break me was when I lost my big brother, Donald, to suicide in 2012.  It strained relationships in my family of origin and my immediate family.  Donald's silent suffering and tragic death lead me to found, Suicide Prevention Corp. of Southwest Wisconsin in 2014.  I had a driving force in me to do all I can to make sure no other families had to endure the suffering of a suicide loss in their family alone. Ever since then the group has been growing, breaking down stigmas, supporting families that are suffering losses themselves and educating our rural communities. 

 

It took awhile to get back to a "new normal way of life" and my children were there loving me through it all.  Luckily, the kids were involved in a variety of activities and all enjoy travel. So, as they became teenagers that's what we did. Even now, while they are starting their own work lives and figuring out where their place is in this world; they are a driving force to keep me motivated in work and life adventures. It's funny, as a parent I  helped the kids find their way, but as they become young adults, they are helping me continue to grow and find what makes me happy and find my way. I feel everything happens for a reason, the good and the bad in our lives are all to teach us a lesson so we can become better people. My life came together with the combination of family, mental health and deaf culture to help me expand quality mental health resources in the Deaf community.

Mental Health Experiences

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in  Marriage & Family Therapy. In 2007 I took a class at Gallaudet University that taught me how to teach sex education and healthy relationships to deaf children. This class encouraged me to start a public speaking adventure to families with deaf or hard of hearing youth about how to communicate healthy relationship values to their deaf children. Im also, Certified to train others in a Suicide Prevention Course called, QPR Trainer (Question, Persuade, Refer). As mentioned earlier, I am the Founder of Suicide Prevention Corporation of Southwest WI (www.Suicide-SWWI.org).

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Journey Mental Health Crisis Response Unit- Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response, Madison, WI (July 2020-Present)

    • Assess for risk, answering crisis calls, executing emergency detentions, compiling notes, and collaborating with co-workers, officers, and medical staff to provide the least restrictive environment for clients

    • Customize safety plans and refer resources for individuals in crisis

  • Lutheran Social Services- In Home Therapist, Iowa County, WI (2004-2006)

    • Collaborated weekly with Iowa County social workers to provide family updates  

    • Engaged with families to set consistent parenting, open communication, and uphold the requirements set forth by the court system

    • Completed 3000+ hours of supervised counseling experience

  • Princess Royal Youth Hostel- Social Worker Internship, Belize City, Belize, Central America (1993)

    • Supervised incarcerated juvenile delinquents in a detention center

    • Tutored youth, counseled, and taught crafts along with daily outings

  • Undergraduate volunteer experience not listed above: Abused women and children Center, Homeless Shelter Food Services, Families and Schools Together Program (FAST), at risk youth.

 

LEADERSHIP & SERVICE

  • Suicide Prevention Corporation Southwest Wisconsin- Mineral Point, WI (2014-Present) Founder and creator of a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent suicide through awareness, education, collaboration, and improved access to mental health care. Website: suicide-IowaCountyWi.org

  • Commodity Classic- San Antonio, TX (2020) National Farmer Lead Conference. Speaker about Mental Health in Ag  

  • Prevent Suicide Wisconsin State Conference- Wisconsin Dells, WI (2019) Workshop on grassroots efforts of starting a suicide prevention movement.

  • Southwest Wisconsin Behavioral Health Partnership Mental Health Summit- Hazel Green, WI (2018, 2019) Workshop on grassroots efforts of starting a suicide prevention movement.

  • The Wisconsin Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf Blind Sub – Committee- Pewaukee, WI (2012-2015) Gathered information on mental health services available in Wisconsin. With the purpose to distribute to deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind individuals in the state and educating them on where they can receive services. Additionally, educating the agencies, what is legally required of their agencies and where to obtain resources to serve their disabled clients better.

  • Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Outreach (WESP-DHH) Professional and Family Conference- Oconomowoc, WI (2010, 2011, 2014) Presented workshops for families with deaf children on relationships and communication.​

    • Presented to deaf and hard of hearing students ages 12-21years old. ​

      • Workshop- “Sibling Relationships” & “Hearing Loss 101”(2014)

      • Workshop - “Relationships and Sex” (2010)

    • Presented to the adults in families that have deafness or hard of hearing individuals in their family

      • Workshop – “How to talk to your child about Relationships and Sex” (2010)

      • Workshop – “Teaching your kids about the red Flags of Dating” (2011)

      • Workshop- “Establishing a dating timeline" (2011)

  • Iowa County Fair Board member and officer for 13 years gave me a vast amount of experiences in failures and success related to fundraising, grant writing, and working with a team. The most challenging part was building a bridge between two organizations with the same goal, but vastly different perspectives on how to achieve that goal.

 

Interpreting Experience

I have a wide variety of experiences in the deaf and hard of hearing community starting in my Interpreter training program working with Deaf professionals, youth, elderly and Deaf/Blind. My work experiences is listed below with a wide range of settings from Educational, Freelance, and Video Relay Interpreting.

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Purple Communications, Madison, WI (April 2013-Present). Part-Time Video Relay interpreter

    • Interpret phone calls that come in on a nationwide line connecting deaf and hearing individuals

    • Execute a diversity of calls and signing styles with topics ranging from high pressure 911 calls to low stress families connecting on the holidays.

  • Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison, WI (August 1998- present).  Full-time educational interpreter floater position. 

    • Engage in a diversity of academic, technical, and athletic interpreting ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade as well as deaf adults

    • Manage interpreters to ensure all positions are filled throughout the school district as a lead interpreter

  • University Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (June 1997 – May 1999).  Contract interpreter on an as needed basis, Experience with a variety of signing styles and classes.

  • Monroe Senior High School, Monroe, WI (August 1997-June 1998).  Full-Time educational interpreter for two juniors.  Interpreting style preferred by clients was transliterating.

LEADERSHIP & SERVICE​​

  • Fundraising, organizing and executing education travel experiences for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students attending Madison Metropolitan School District (1999-2005)

  • Teaching ASL– Dodgeville, Highland, Madison, Monroe, Mineral Point & Verona, WI (since 1997) Taught American Sign Language to families of deaf children, students, staff members and future interpreters.

Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

608-279-0131 

bottom of page