a 20-something Deaf woman on a soapbox and nobody can shut her up.
What is a Deaf Interpreter?
"A Deaf Interpreter is a specialist who provides interpreting, translation, and transliteration services in American Sign Language and other visual and tactual communication forms used by individuals who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and Deaf-Blind. As a Deaf person, the Deaf Interpreter starts with a distinct set of formative linguistic, cultural, and life experiences that enables nuanced comprehension and interaction in a wide range of visual language and communication forms influenced by region, culture, age, literacy, education, class, and physical, cognitive, and mental health. These experiences coupled with professional training give the Deaf interpreter the ability to effect successful communication across all types of interpreted interactions, both routine and high risk. NCIEC studies indicate that in many situations, use of a Deaf Interpreter enables a level of linguistic and cultural bridging that is often not possible when hearing ASL-English interpreters work alone."
Holders of this certification are interpreters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and who have completed at least eight hours of training on the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; eight hours of training on the role and function of an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing; and have passed a comprehensive combination of written and performance tests. Holders of this certificate are recommended for a broad range of assignments where an interpreter who is deaf or hard-of-hearing would be beneficial. This test is currently available." --http://www.rid.org/(retrieved Sept. 24, 2010)
"A Deaf interpreter is used when the student has a special way of communication that is not easily understood by interpreters. Such examples are those who use “home signs” unique to a family, signs from another county (foreign sign language), or in situations where the student is DeafBlind or has Low Vision, has limited Speech and Language skills, or uses signs unique to the Deaf culture that interpreters would not normally understand."--http://www.disabilityresource.uic.edu/viewer.asp?tab=2&label=Deaf%20Interpreter (retrieved Sept. 24, 2010)
For more information, the best place to go is www.DIinstitute.org for resources, study results, and many more (both in ASL and written English).
For testing and certification, please go to www.rid.org/ to find out the costs, testing sites, and dates.
Alternatively, you can contact your local RID chapter to ask questions about how to get involved with interpreting.