A deaf interpreter acts as a translator between two parties and helps people who are hard of hearing communicate and understand verbal language. The deaf interpreter will turn the verbal information into sign language and vice versa. Deaf interpreters are used in a variety of fields, such as office environments, conferences, medical environments, and educational institutions. Sometimes, the deaf interpreter will work for an agency that provides interpreters in various settings.
When working in a medical institution, it is important to be familiar with medical terms. When working in a school or university environment, the interpreter will often have the task of interpreting lectures for the hard of hearing. The position may be full-time or part-time, and it can be regular employment or on a freelance basis. In order to secure a deaf interpretation job, it is important to be proficient in sign language. Often, the interpreter is required to be objective and to interpret each word in the appropriate manner. Knowledge of hearing aids may be necessary, as the deaf interpreter may be expected to help people who are hard of hearing troubleshoot and make sure their equipment is working.
Skills can be demonstrated through a high score on the Education Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) and/or through holding a Certificate of Interpretation. In addition, a valid certificate from The National Association of Deaf is often needed. Gaining proficiency as a deaf interpreter can be acquired through various courses. Usually, a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for this job.
Deaf Interpreter Tasks
Translate communications between hearing and non-hearing people using American Sign Language (ASL) and/or Signing Exact English (SEE).
Provide information and orientation to non-hearing people in emergency situations.
Serve as liaison with non-hearing and hearing people in various business or social situations.