St. Louis Community College graduate Shelly Tisius saw a gap in the Deaf Communications industry and seized the opportunity to fill it by starting MT & Associates (MT&A).
MT&A provides expert sign language interpreting and consulting, with its sole focus on bridging gaps between Deaf and Hearing consumers. MT&A pursues its mission with a task of eliminating that gap through a higher level of interpreting services and support from educated and experienced office staff.
“When I began working as an interpreter, I noticed that traditional agencies are typically managed by interpreters. Those managers, however, often lack business expertise,” said Tisius, owner and president of MT&A. “Seeing a gap between management and interpreting services, and after talking with interpreters and Deaf peers, I suggested we open a business unlike traditional agencies.”
Tisius recalls her experiences at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley as a catalyst for creating her business.
“The diverse classrooms and smaller learning environments contributed to the success of MT&A,” Tisius said. “My general transfer degree enabled me to complete my bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in leadership and supervision in less time and at a more affordable cost. Adding to that, my degree in deaf communications has allowed me to be a part of the interpreting community.”
With the continued success for MT&A, Tisius is very connected to the STLCC-Florissant Valley campus as MT&A provide sign language interpreting services on an as-needed basis to the campus.
“We know that the community is small and that the quality of STLCC interpreting services is a direct reflection on the STLCC reputation,” said Tisius. “As we work more frequently with the Access office, we hope to also assist STLCC reach out to its students and partner to increase the attendance of Deaf students in postsecondary education.”
MT&A has been recognized as one of the Small Business Monthly (SBM) Future 50 Companies, SBM’s annual search for the 50 fast-growing, top small companies in St. Louis. MT&A representatives received the award Aug. 16 and will be featured in SBM’s September “Small Business Awards” issue.