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Category Archives: medical interpreting

Community Health Care Interpreting — Deaf Eyes on Interpreting

DEOnIbookpageThis is the sixteenth weekly installment featuring highlights from the 20 chapters in the new book, Deaf Eyes on Interpreting, edited by Thomas K. Holcomb and David H. Smith which was released in June by Gallaudet University Press.

Perhaps the most critical area, where it is vitally important that an interpreter’s skills match the Deaf consumer’s needs, is in the health care field. This chapter, “Community Health Care Interpreting,” was co-written by Cynthia Plue,  Lewis Lummer, Susan Gonzales, and Marta Ordaz.

As described by Plue in the video above, attention must be paid to four key competency areas in order to meet the diverse needs of various segments of the evolving Deaf community. These include competency and clarity in communication, language proficiency, cultural competency, and healthcare literacy. Especially important is the ability to meet the needs of Deaf individuals with limited language and/or educational backgrounds, as well as those who are Deaf blind. For these individuals, the authors encourage the use of certified Deaf interpreters to ensure successful delivery of critical healthcare information. Another solution Plue suggests is the use of a chart to outline the communication, language, literacy needs and preferences of each Deaf patient to minimize a potentially life-threatening mismatch.