Date of Award

Fall 11-30-2017

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Dr. Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Dr. Robyn Dean

Abstract

The fields of medicine and mental health have a long history of conducting and researching case conferencing and supervision; however, to date, there has been no research into how or if signed language interpreters are participating in supervision and what benefits they experience as a result. For the purposes of this research, supervision is defined as an intentional interaction between two or more practitioners, the goal of which is to engage in reflective practice, ensure quality services for consumers, and support the wellbeing of the practitioner. The study included survey responses from 113 signed language interpreters about their experiences attending supervision sessions that use the demand control schema (DC-S) framework. Results revealed a profile for the type of practitioner who has participated in supervision. The majority of respondents of the survey had been involved in an ongoing supervision group that was facilitated in a participatory or co-operative manner. Benefits of supervision revealed from this research can be categorized as enriched learning (formative), increased professional standards and accountability (normative), and support for the wellbeing of the practitioner (restorative). Some of the most frequently cited benefits in these categories included: relationships with colleagues, new perspectives, professional development, more options for responding to work demands, a better understanding of decision-making, and support. These findings indicate that current issues in the areas of education, standards and ethics, and work-related stress for practitioners within the signed language interpreting field may be addressed through the use of professional peer supervision groups. Recommendations include establishing an infrastructure for the provision of professional peer supervision, a requirement of supervision as a component of credentialing interpreters, and further research on supervision.

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