This is the fourteenth 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.
Fallon Brizendine is a Deaf professional working to educate future interpreters. She expands on concerns raised by Amy June Rowley in our last blog post regarding placing novice interpreters in the pivotal role of working with Deaf children in mainstreamed schools. Whether they like it or not, without a critical mass of Deaf language models in their lives, the Deaf students will look to their interpreters as language models. This places a heavy responsibility on them.
However, Brizendine has some concrete ideas to remedy this situation. She suggests that interpreters be ready to take on this important role by visiting bilingual ASL/English classrooms and observing the bilingual teachers to see the manner in which they deliver lessons and interact with their students in ASL. She also puts responsibility on Deaf professionals who work in the educational field, such as herself, to connect with educational interpreters and offer them feedback and support.