American Sign Language/English interpreting is a profession growing in recognition in the United States and internationally. As its popularity increases, its diverse groups, specifically interpreters who identify as Black or African American, should follow. As a result, the diversity of its practitioners should imply that more interpreters of diverse backgrounds, under the influence of interpreter educators, are acquiring knowledge under keen leadership that positively impacts their acquisition of knowledge and their social and professional identity.

Interpreters acquire language, cultural information, and knowledge through varying degree levels of Interpreter Training Programs (ITPs) across the United States. However, this paper hypothesizes that the documented programs, established at institutions of varying levels, struggle to meet the diverse needs of the students they serve, or lack the attendance of culturally diverse groups.

This project seeks to obtain insightful information from Black and African American ITP students and graduates through personal accounts, resulting in discussion relating to the growing issue of ITPs and the deficit produced in serving marginalized and culturally diverse populations. By collecting data specific to identifying experience impact on social identity, professional identity, and their acquisition of knowledge, this collection aims to provide suggested practices to mediate the cultural deficit. The desired result is greater awareness leading to an increase in accessibility and strategies fostering the social and professional identities of Black/African American and other diverse interpreters, interpreting students, and ITP graduates.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Royce Carpenter


American Sign Language, Black, interpreter educators, ITP, professional identity, social identity



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

American Sign Language | Education | Language Interpretation and Translation | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures

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