Since the 1990’s there has been an ever increasing number of Deaf people seeking higher education and pursuing a wide variety of professions and careers that enhance their life experiences. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields have seen an influx of Deaf people interested in engaging in education and life-long careers in these fields and their respective disciplines. One of the reasons behind this growing interest by Deaf people is the National Science Foundation’s commitment to expanding the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM (NSF, 2012). Many Deaf students in higher education and Deaf professionals engaging in STEM careers and professions report a lack of qualified signed language interpreters available to access communication events that are necessary to become successful in these fields and disciplines.

In the field of signed language interpreting worldwide there has been no research conducted on interpreters and the interpreting process in STEM. There abound many anecdotal experiences by Deaf professionals and signed language interpreters alike regarding the challenges of working and interpreting in STEM. One consequence of not having qualified signed language interpreters in STEM is that the professional development of Deaf students and Deaf professionals who choose to study and build careers in these fields is hampered. In this exploratory study, competencies specific to interpreting in various aspects of the STEM fields and disciplines, as identified by the Deaf consumers who engage interpreting services, will be identified and described.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award

Winter 3-9-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Adele Schepige

Committee Member

Caroline Solomon


Interpreting in STEM, Interpreting, Deaf Professionals, STEM, Interpreter Competencies, Designated Interpreters



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Disability and Equity in Education | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Science and Mathematics Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Rights Statement

Western Oregon University Library has determined, as of 6/26/2018, this item is in copyright, which is held by the author. Users may use the item in accordance with copyright limitations and exceptions, including fair use. For other uses, please ask permission from the author at the email address listed above.

Rights Statement URL




Rights Statement

In Copyright

In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).