Lost in Translation: The Foundational Culture of the Values in the ASL-English Interpreting Field in the United States

ID: 3643
School: TBD
Program: TBD
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2018
End Date: May 2019


Education for American Sign Language-English interpreters in the United States is primarily consolidated in Interpreter Training Programs (ITPs). This shift to academic training that began in the 1960s has resulted in a cultural shift, as most programs are housed in collegiate institutions. The cultural shift towards academic, individualistic norms, and away from Deaf-centric, collectivist and community-based norms, marks a transition in the interpreting field. As the majority of working and future interpreters have attended or will attend ITPs, the cultural shift and divide between d/Deaf communities and interpreters is further emphasized. As a result, this research seeks to address the following questions: on what culture frame, specifically individualist or collectivist, are ITPs founded? What cultural norms are exhibited in ITPs as identified by Deaf and Hard of Hearing ITP professors? This research seeks to provide greater insight into how the foundational culture impacts Deaf and Hard of Hearing instructors in ITPs and the narratives and experiences that they carry. The research will be conducted through a case study framework and combine qualitative, semi-structured focus groups with a quantitative nationwide survey.

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