Students - A set of competencies for students regarding interpreting
By the time students who are deaf or hard of hearing graduate from high school, they should be prepared for their new role as independent consumers. This means that they should understand their rights and responsibilities regarding communicating and using an interpreter. They should also understand how to work with an interpreter in order to maximize their learning and participation. They should learn the differences between educational interpreters, who are supposed to foster learning, versus community interpreters, who really have no obligation to the consumer other than a faithful rendition of the communication in a way that respects all parties.
Schools have a responsibility to foster students learning about the nature of interpreting and how they fit. There is little information available about fostering this type of learning. However, we have provided Educational Interpreting Student Competencies, a preliminary set of standard-based competencies that most students with hearing loss should meet by the time they graduate from high school. This set of competencies includes the following broad goals:
- Develop a healthy individual identity with respect for others
- Develop a sense of autonomy, being responsible for decision-making, negotiating conflicts
- Understand consumer rights/information, alternative accommodations, and how to manage accommodations
- Manage and accommodate learning through the services of an interpreter.
- Negotiate social interactions, ranging from interactive academic discourse to social peer interactions.
We expect that these standards will serve as a guideline, and that educational teams will need to decide what level of achievement is appropriate for a given student. However, there should be significant concerns if a student seems to be unable to develop independence and autonomy with regards to interpreting services.