CAPACITY GOAL THREE: Qualified K-12 Interpreters
Goal Statement Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth, eligible for interpreting services, will have interpreters who are qualified. These interpreters will receive meaningful monitoring, supervision and professional development. They will function as part of an educational team that understands the interpretersâ€™ role in the studentâ€™s education, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Background When opening a discussion about interpreting in schools, it is imperative to acknowledge that direct, multidimensional communication in the K-12 setting is more efficient, effective and empowering than interpreted communication which is much more linear and involves a third party. However, when direct and multidimensional communication with peers and staff is not possible for all or part of the educational program, it is critical that quality standards for interpreters and student programming to be in place. Not all students are ready to access instruction through an interpreter (Huff, 2010). Before a student is placed with an interpreter, it is critical to consider and evaluate a spectrum of communication and language competencies of the student. This information will assist the educational team in determining the studentâ€™s strengths and needs in accessing the general curriculum through an interpreter. In order for the school experience to be accessible, all aspects of the day must be considered. Incidental learning is a powerful component in academic and social development. Opportunities for peer engagement is equally important as engagement with staff. Overheard conversations can enhance and support academic content development. Often there are multiple conversations happening simultaneously and interpreters must weigh several factors in determining which messages to interpret. 27
New Mexico Task Force for Education for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children & Youth