The sign language interpreter in inclusive education: power of authority and limits of objectivism

Autor/a: THOUTENHOOFD, Ernst
Año: 2005
Editorial: The Translator, Vol. 11, nº 2 (2005) pp. 237-258
Tipo de código: ISBN
Código: 1-900650-86-X
Soporte: Digital


Educación, Traducción e Interpretación


This  article  discusses  the  significance  of  the  fact  that educational sign language interpreting is evolving within the context  of  current  practices  of  inclusive  schooling.  Sign  language interpreters  are  already  in  the  process  of  defining  their  professional authority and autonomy in relation to educational practices. From the perspective of mainstream education, achieving inclusion of all deaf children requires that the spoken English classroom be  made  accessible  to  the  sign  language-using  deaf  child.  This social interplay suggests a symbiotic arrangement – one in which language mediation of an expressly certified quality lends credibility to the social efficacy of educational inclusion. Moreover, this  symbiosis  appears  as  an  effective  and  positive  response  to legislation,  in  particular  in  relation  to  disability  discrimination acts.  However,  this  article  raises  deeper  concerns  about  longstanding educational inequalities, and in particular the troubled status of linguistic rights in relation to deaf children within mainstream education. The argument, articulated with conceptual tools developed by Pierre Bourdieu, is that interpreter-mediated inclusion leaves unaddressed a number of challenges and opportunities relating to the specific abilities and educational potential of deaf children,  leaving  them  locked  in  limiting  forms  of  educational participation.