Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Special Education

Committee Chair

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Carole Lazorisak

Committee Member

Dr. Melanie Landon-Hays

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to identify existing practices in interpreter preparation as it relates to Deaf interpreting students and working Deaf interpreters. In an effort to identify patterns in curricula, instructional approach, and formative experiences, the researcher aimed to distinguish effective instructional approaches for Deaf interpreting students. Working Deaf interpreters were interviewed to offer their perspective on existing preparation practices, both in formal academic settings and formative training. Secondly, Deaf interpreting students currently enrolled in Interpreter Preparation Programs (IPPs) were asked to reflect on their academic experiences and identify the most effective practices employed in their training programs, as well as the least effective practices. It was discovered that there are several inconsistencies in IPPs across the nation related to modifying skill development exercises for Deaf students, including but not limited to: lack of Deaf presence in the classroom, limited access to Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) for mentoring partnerships, lack of appropriate resources for students, and instructors’ unpreparedness for effectively training Deaf interpreters. It was concluded that existing IPP curricula need revisions to incorporate a stronger presence of Deaf professionals as interpreter educators in the classroom and that programs need to work toward increasing the numbers of enrolled Deaf interpreting students. Additionally, it was found that it might be more effective for Deaf interpreting students’ development if certain courses and skill development exercises were completed independently of hearing classmates.