Ethics & Education

Cooperation Strengthens Sign Language Interpreter Education Programs

Cooperation Strengthens Sign Language Interpreter Education Programs

From time to time I have heard it said that interpreter education programs are the new functional “gatekeepers” of the sign language interpreting profession. That is, with more interpreters learning ASL and interpreting in academic settings, rather than based on … More

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Treachery: Why Sign Language Interpreters Don’t Correct Each Other’s Work

Treachery: Why Sign Language Interpreters Don’t Correct Each Other’s Work

As I submit this, some time has passed since the incident of the “fake interpreter” at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. While this was an event of historic proportions, it was not an event where the life, liberty or … More

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Mental Health Settings: Are Sign Language Interpreters at Risk?

Mental Health Settings: Are Sign Language Interpreters at Risk?

Friendlyville is a mid-sized city (population 85,000) in a Midwestern state with a Deaf (ASL) population of about 200.  Janice is one of the few RID certified sign language interpreters in Friendlyville. She is the child of Deaf parents, and … More

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Sign Language Interpreters: How to Avoid Being Abandoned at the Microphone

Sign Language Interpreters: How to Avoid Being Abandoned at the Microphone

I am facing a panel of 6 people in front of an audience of 200 attendees. The event is about to commence. I have a lone microphone in my hand and an empty chair beside me. As I settle into … More

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5 Surefire Steps to Overcoming Skill Plateau For Sign Language Interpreters

5 Surefire Steps to Overcoming Skill Plateau For Sign Language Interpreters

Perhaps you have decades of sign language interpreting experience, have been to countless workshops and trainings on skill development, yet feel that you have hit a plateau in your skills. You may notice obvious erroneous patterns in your work. For … More

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Why Do Qualified Sign Language Interpreters Get Less Work?

Why Do Qualified Sign Language Interpreters Get Less Work?

In a recent conversation with Tom Holcomb about certified vs. qualified sign language interpreters, he said something that surprised me. He shared that approximately 90% of the interpreters referred to work with him outside of his professional faculty position and … More

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K-12: A Call to Arms for Sign Language Interpreter Training Programs

K-12: A Call to Arms for Sign Language Interpreter Training Programs

K-12 interpreting* has been around for quite some time, at least since the precursor of today’s IDEA was passed in 1975.  In the earlier years after this law was passed, we saw the development of what were called “self-contained classrooms,” … More

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Sign Language Interpreter

It Takes a Village to Raise a Sign Language Interpreter

With fall upon us, students in interpreter training programs all over the country have begun another semester on their journey to becoming a sign language interpreter. Along with the classroom lectures and hands-on practice teachers are planning, they are also … More

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Sign Language Interpreters and the Future of Ethical Practice

Sign Language Interpreters and the Future of Ethical Practice

The dawn of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) 2013-2016 Strategic Plan and heightened attention on the RID Ethical Practices System (EPS) has brought the perfect time to examine the ethical landscape of our industry.  As we look … More

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Mentorship: Sign Language Interpreters Embrace Your Elders

Mentorship: Sign Language Interpreters Embrace Your Elders

I was talking with a fellow sign language interpreter and she mentioned another colleague of ours whom had just received her national certification. I commented that it was a good thing and that I had been mentored by this particular person. This fellow interpreter I was speaking with looked at me in horror and asked, “Why … More

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