Walk on the Wild Side: Training Trauma-informed Interpreters for Signed and Spoken Languages in the Same Classroom

by Marjory A. Bancroft, Katherine Allen

Abstract

This paper examines the outcomes of a four-day, trauma-informed interpreter training project for victim services interpreting that was delivered to mixed groups of spoken and signed language interpreters in Washington, DC, including Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs), between 2015 and 2018. It describes the program’s core elements and examines several challenges faced by trainers of the mixed groups. Because the program focused on interpreting for trauma survivors, this paper explores the potential impact of trauma-related topics on interpreters from many different cultures, value systems and beliefs brought together in a single classroom. It concludes with preliminary recommendations for both trainers of mixed spoken- and signed-language interpreting programs as well as trauma-informed interpreting programs. The observations are those of the authors and are subjective. While no formal research was conducted, they do point to the need for research to guide the education and training of interpreters across spoken and signed languages.
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Proceedings of the 2018 Biennial Conference

Reaching New Heights in Interpreter Education: Mentoring, Teaching & Leadership