Developing Deaf Interpreting
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2018
Deaf people working as sign language interpreters are a relatively new professional field. Deaf Interpreters are typically used as relay interpreters to interpret for consumers with special linguistic needs, or as interpreters between two signed languages or between one sign language and international signs. The need for deaf interpreters is growing, but the provision of training and education specifically designed for deaf interpreters have not kept pace with the growing demand. In recent years only a few deaf Interpreter training programs have been set up in Europe, research into the area is scarce, and we still lack appropriate assessment tools for assessing the skills of deaf interpreters.
We are a cross sectorial partnership, consisting of five partners, representing Higher Educational Institutions undertaking deaf interpreter training, as well as national and European NGO’s in the field: Hamburg University, Coimbra Polytechnic Institute, Humak University of Applied Sciences, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, and Danish Deaf Association. Each partner will contribute to the project with their key staff members in this area of competence (primarily teachers and researchers within linguistics and sociology). Altogether 570 people are expected to participate in the project activities, of this group 400 are expected to be deaf. The partnership will in cooperation undertake surveys, studies and research into deaf interpreting in order to produce a description of the profession from various angles: primarily sociological and linguistic. Furthermore the partners will develop a set of common recommendations for a deaf interpreter curriculum that will be applicable at various levels of education throughout Europe.
The main objective of the project is to enhance the quality, relevance and provision of deaf interpreter training. Not only the partners’ own training programs are expected to improve, the project is also expected to influence the training options in other educational Institutions in Europe. Access to the research-based curriculum, which will be produced by the project, is expected to encourage and inspire educators and educational institutions to initiate this kind of training and/or improve the quality of already existing training programs.
By influencing the training programs at various levels in Europe, the project will also contribute to a development, where the skills and qualifications of deaf interpreters will be more transparent and standardized in Europe. The partners will apply the use of EQF in their training programs in order to further enhance the transparency of the learning outcome for the interpreters, the aim being that the competences and qualifications will be recognisable and applicable in any European country regardless of the nationality of the interpreter.
The long term objective is to contribute to removing barriers at the labour market for deaf interpreters. Major obstacles for deaf interpreters today are lack of official training options and lack of recognition of the profession. Giving (future) deaf interpreters access to high quality training and certification will go a long way towards recognition of the profession, but also the findings of the research are expected to contribute to a better understanding and definition of the specific competences of deaf interpreters. The findings of the project research will thus also contribute to the documentation needed, to pave the way for deaf interpreting as a profession in the future.
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