Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2016

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Special Education

Committee Chair

Vicki Darden

Committee Member

Dr. Melanie Landon-Hays

Committee Member

Geri Mu

Abstract

This study focuses on the experiences of Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islanders in the field of American Sign Language/English interpreting within the United States. This study was conducted in two phases, an online survey followed by one-on-one interviews either online or in-person. The information was gathered, coded, and then analyzed for common themes to see if there was a common trend or experience among this particular minority group. The literature review revealed that a majority of the Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander community does experience microaggressions on a weekly basis, if not daily; however, this has not yet been investigated among current and former practitioners of American Sign Language/English interpreting. It was found that many Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander interpreters experienced their interpreter education programs (IEPs) to be lacking in discussions about diversity and multiculturalism. The same holds true for practitioners who did not attend an IEP. Working interpreters often felt there was a lack of understanding and conversation about cultural differences and diversity among their peers and consumers. This lack of understanding can lead to more microaggressions and frustration experienced by the Asian and AAPI interpreter. To increase discussion and awareness, participants desired more education and discussion about race, racism, and microaggressions in their education and with their colleagues and consumers.