Date of Award

Fall 12-10-2014

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Special Education

Committee Chair

Pamela Cancel

Committee Member

Alan Yankus

Committee Member

Sarah Hewlett

Abstract

There currently exists a limited body of knowledge on rural interpreters. What little research has been done has looked at rural interpreters based in educational settings. This study is an opening look at interpreters who maintain a community based practice in a rural county, and is an initial appraisal of the professional development needs of rural interpreters. I examine if current trainings are designed with rural interpreters in mind, and if rural interpreters are able to acquire new skills, techniques, and knowledge that are applicable to their communities.

This study sought to answer the question: How can the implementation of a structured interprofessional learning community aid the professional development of a rural sign language interpreter?

I collected data on three categories: the general background of my participants, how rural sign language interpreters access and perceive current professional development opportunities, and the role of the rural interpreter in their local professional community. Looking at these three topics allowed me to consider if the current professional development system is meeting the needs of rural sign language interpreters and the communities they serve. Lastly, this study sought to examine if the implementation of an interprofessional learning community would be a viable option for rural communities.

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