Choosing accommodations: signed language interpreting and the absence of choice

Autor/a: BURKE, T.
Año: 2017
Editorial: Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Vol. 27, nº 2 (2017) pp. 267–99
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda, Traducción e Interpretación


This paper carves out a topic space for discussion about the ethical question of whether input from signing Deaf consumers of interpreting services ought to be included in the provision of signed language interpreter accommodations. The first section provides background about disability accommodations and practices, including how signed language interpreting accommodations are similar and dissimilar to other kinds of disability accommodations. In the second section, I offer a personal narrative of my experience as a Deaf academic who has been excluded from the interpreter selection process, highlighting some of the harmful consequences of such exclusion. In the subsequent two sections, I describe and analyze the process of choosing interpreter accommodations, starting with the process of requesting signed language interpreters and the institutionalization of this process, followed by a brief overview of privacy and autonomy concerns from the standpoint of the signing Deaf consumer. The penultimate section considers some objections to the proposal of involving more consumer choice in signed language accommodations. I conclude the paper with some concrete suggestions for a more Deaf-centered, inclusive process for choosing interpreter accommodations.