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Abstract

Deaf-parented individuals have experiences as child language brokers (Napier, in press) and as native and heritage users of signed language (Compton, 2014) prior to engaging in a formal interpreter education program or seeking training to become an interpreter. Anecdotally, deaf-parented interpreters say that educational opportunities do not meet their specific needs and skill sets but instead are designed for the L2 user of signed language. A goal of this study was to expand the limited research that currently exists in the field of interpreter education as it relates to L1 users of American Sign Language (ASL)—specifically, deaf-parented individuals. This study finds that they are achieving national credentials and education and training as interpreters through some coursework, formal and informal mentorships, and workshops, usually after already entering the field through informal induction practices within the deaf community. Participants in this study outline specific areas of skill weaknesses and share their perspectives on educational offerings that they have found most beneficial. The results of this research can benefit the field of signed/spoken language interpreting by influencing curriculum design and teaching approaches so that the unique demographic of deaf-parented interpreters is recruited to and retained within the profession. This article presents some of the principal findings pertinent to induction practices and interpreter education from a larger study of deaf-parented interpreters (Williamson, 2015).

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