Meet Shelby and Tyler, the dynamic duo behind Inclusive Communication Services (ICS), a revolutionary interpreting and translation service that is changing the game for both spoken and sign language communication. Evolving from college friends with a shared passion for theater and languages to co-founders of a groundbreaking business, their journey is truly inspiring! So, let’s dive into their origin story and discover how ICS came to be.
The ASL Interpreting Program Bond
It all began at Maryville College in Tennessee, where Shelby and Tyler crossed paths in the American Sign Language (ASL) – English Interpreting Program. In a small and tightly-knit class, they quickly bonded over their shared interest in ASL and the hit TV series, Glee! As their friendship flourished, little did they know that their combined passion would lead to something extraordinary.
Love for Languages and Building Connections
While Shelby found her calling for ASL through accessible theatre performances in her local community, Tyler’s fascination with foreign languages blossomed from an early age. Studying four different languages during his formative years, he later embarked on a journey of trilingual interpreting during his college years, combining ASL and Spanish in his academic pursuits. Their individual journeys laid the foundation for their joint mission – to enable communication and understanding for all, regardless of their abilities.
Overcoming Communication Barriers in NYC
After graduating from college, Shelby and Tyler followed their dreams to New York City, where they found their footing as ASL interpreters for the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind. The work was fulfilling, but they soon encountered a frustrating pattern among interpreting agencies in which agencies prioritized their profits over the outcomes of their service consumers. Disgruntled by their feedback and advocacy failing on – yes, let’s say – ‘deaf’ ears, the two were inspired to envision how different their community would be if agencies were truly consumer focused .
Redefining Interpreting and Translation Services
Driven by their ambition and a shared vision, Shelby and Tyler decided to be the change they wanted to see in the industry. The co-founders believed that effective communication should not be a privilege but a right for everyone. ICS’s mission was clear: to create communities that are equally-accessible to individuals of all languages and disabilities through affordable and reliable accessibility services for the Deaf, DeafBlind, Blind, and Non-English Speaking.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurial Friends
Drawing from their own experience, Shelby and Tyler offer simple yet powerful advice for friends looking to start a business together: Play to each other’s strengths and practice patience with each other and the journey. Entrepreneurship can be challenging, but staying true to your mission and supporting each other will carry you through the stressful times and the best of times.
Inclusive Communication Services is more than just an interpreting and translation company; it’s a testament to the power of friendship, shared passions, and a determination to create positive change. As they continue to shape the future of the interpreting and translation industry, Shelby and Tyler exemplify the spirit of collaborative entrepreneurship, proving that when friends come together for a meaningful cause, the possibilities are limitless. So, whether you need sign language interpreters or spoken language translators, look no further than ICS – where communication is reimagined with inclusivity!