Sign Language Interpreters
A sign language interpreter is an individual who helps the Deaf or hard of hearing student understand the spoken language by converting it into sign language. Interpreters are needed in both one-on-one situations as well as group settings. Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive, and technical skills in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Sign language interpreting, like spoken language interpreting, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a signed representation of that English word. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure and cultural nuances. Interpreters must thoroughly understand the subject matter in which they work so that they are able to convert information from one language, known as the source language, into another, known as the target language. In addition, interpretations can incorporate cultural information associated with the languages used.
Sign language interpreters have a responsibility to the student to faithfully convey the spirit and intent of the speaker. The role of the interpreter is NOT to advise, edit, advocate, teach, interject personal opinions, or have personal conversations with the participants in any interpreting situation. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain the ownership of all situations involving interpreter services.