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Abstract

While there is much current discussion of the use of deaf interpreters, in practice, deaf interpreters in the United States are generally used for a small segment of the population and typically confined to legal settings. The use of a deaf interpreter paired with an interpreter who can hear, in an ancillary or supporting role, is a reasonable accommodation in a variety of settings, for a variety of deaf individuals, and with a variety of interpreters who can hear. Interpreter education programs need to develop or revise their curricula to incorporate the discrete tasks as performed by deaf interpreters. Research-based curricula need to address how to instruct deaf interpreters in the mechanics of interpreting and instruct non-deaf interpreters in how to acknowledge the contributions of, and negotiate for, deaf interpreters. The statutory scheme in the United States provides a model that can be incorporated into education programs to effectively advocate for including deaf interpreters as an integral part of the interpreting team accommodation.

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