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Deaf Interpreters. One of my roles as a DI is to make sure that communication happens between the parties. Its not just communication, but culture too. DI’s see the world in a visual way. That makes a difference in how information is processed…

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Deaf Interpreters

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Deaf interpreters

Deaf Interpreters

One of my roles as a DI is to make sure that communication happens between the parties.

Its not just communication, but culture too.

DI’s see the world in a visual way.

That makes a difference in how information is processed…

(excerpts from interview withEllie Savidge)

For whom

For Whom:

  • Deaf-Blind: strong ASL, or any of the below…

  • Older grassroots Deaf

  • Recent immigrants, e.g. Mexican SL

  • Limited or no language

  • Developmentally delayed, learning disabilities

  • Personal preference

Role of platform interpreter e g deaf blind community class

Role of Platform Interpreter:(e.g. Deaf-Blind Community Class)

  • Interpreting more English forms of signing into ASL

  • Cultural and linguistic mediation, such as concrete examples for abstract and unfamiliar concepts

  • Provide visual information to a D-B presenter: Audience response – laughter, distractions, hands raised…

  • Copy signing questions from audience

  • Tracking progress of interpreters, need for speaker to slow down, time for interpreter switches…

Other roles

Other roles:

  • Work with recent immigrants using International Sign Language

  • Using gesture, home sign for those with no or very limited language

  • Provide missing context: assumed knowledge; implied meanings, etc.

Different interpreting situations

Different interpreting situations:

  • legal: courtroom, miranda warning; ongoing police investigation

  • platform: theatre, workshops, large meetings

  • medical: therapy (mental, physical), doctor visit

  • social services: adult and child protective services, red cross emergency

  • the workplace, job interviews

Platform interpreter

Platform Interpreter:

Deaf-Blind Community Class Spring 2006:

Carol Padden presenting; Ellie Savidge, platform interpreter

At the workplace

At the workplace

Follow Terry on a detailed tour of the machine shop at the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, all in ASL. Learn classifiers, ASL, machine shop vocabulary and communication tips when interpreting with Deaf-Blind people. This DVD is intended for interpreters, both Deaf and those who hear. 

Miranda warning

Miranda Warning


  • This scenario shows one possible interpretation of the Miranda Warnings. This is not a real situation, and there has been no crime committed. This is an exercise in how to interpret, and how to work with a Deaf Interpreter. The hearing interpreter transliterates and the Deaf interpreter then interprets the message into American Sign Language.

Cdi certified deaf interpreter

CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter)

  • Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct;

  • eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing;

  • and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests.

Clip r conditional legal interpreting permit relay

CLIP-R(Conditional Legal Interpreting Permit-Relay)

  • Must have completed an RID recognized training program designed for interpreters and transliterators who work in legal settings and who are also deaf or hard-of-hearing.

  • Generalist certification for interpreters/transliterators who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (RSC, CDI-P, or CDI) is required prior to enrollment in the training program…

  • his permit is valid until one year after a legal written and performance test for deaf interpreters becomes available

In reality

In Reality

  • Most Deaf interpreters not certified:

    complex issues

  • Written test an issue: requires applicants to answer complex questions in their second language

  • There are about fifteen Deaf Interpreters in Seattle Area

  • One is certified

Teamwork hearing and deaf interpreters working together

Teamwork (Hearing and Deaf Interpreters, working together)

  • Important to meet ahead of time

  • Discuss roles – who does what

  • Provide information on client

  • Who requested DI

  • A chance to watch and learn from experienced DI

  • Support each other – missed information

  • Let DI know the vocal intonation…

An incredible resource

An incredible resource

  • Deaf Interpreters – experts in communication, cultural mediation

  • Ideal world – Deaf and hearing interpreters would always work together

  • Deaf-Blind Community class an excellent place to observe Deaf interpreters at work

Communication channels deaf blind community class

Communication channels: Deaf-Blind Community Class



Deaf Terp

Hearing Terp

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