Work-related cumulative trauma disorders and interpreters for the deaf

Año: 2000
Editorial: Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Vol. 5, nº 15 (2000) pp. 429-434
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Traducción e Interpretación


With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), increasing numbers of interpreters for the deaf are being employed in education, industry, or other settings. Professional interpreters are at risk for developing cumulative trauma disorders due to the nature of their work which involves rapid repetitive movements of the arms and hands. One hundred forty-five interpreters for the deaf responded to a survey questionnaire designed to identify their work experiences and development of physical pain/discomfort related to work. Incidence and duration of pain/discomfort is positively correlated with hours worked and time of onset. Regardless of age, training, or work experience, 119 (82%) of these respondents experienced disabling pain/discomfort during and following work. Thirty-nine (33%) of the 119 respondents indicated onset of pain or discomfort in the wrist and hand. These data suggest that interpreting for the deaf may result in debilitating pain/discomfort in hands, arms, shoulders, and back if the interpreter is not appropriately prepared to compensate for physical and attentional stresses. Implications include the need to provide periods of rest while working and to provide training for students learning to interpret for the deaf to minimize physical stress while working.