Click on the image below to view a video on Deaf-Blind interpreting. The following information is from The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting . Interpreters often work in formal interpreting assignments in settings which include, but are not limited to, vvarious types of meetings, conferences and classes in educational, medical, governmental, professional and similar type settings. This title/role is most readily understood and recognized under state and federal laws requiring accessibility.
A qualified Deaf-Blind interpreter is adept in providing visual environmental information in addition to spoken or signed content. A qualified interpreter knows how to modify the signing space, the distance between the consumer and interpreter, adjust pacing, and is competent delivering the content in a manner which is meaningful and coherent for the individual who is Deaf-Blind. The interpreter also knows the importance of appropriate clothing and other essential factors in accommodating people who have various types of restricted vision.
The Deaf-Blind interpreter also is skilled in working with people who use tactile signing and/or tracking. Tactile signing is a hand-over-hand method for people who receive signed information through touch. Tracking is used by Deaf-Blind people who have some vision but rely on understanding signed information by touching the interpreter’s wrist or forearm to visually follow their hands.
An interpreter’s role when working with people who are Deaf-Blind is expanded and often includes guiding when walking from place to place, relaying visual/environmental information, note-taking, sight translation of printed materials or assisting with seating arrangements.
The Deaf-Blind community is diverse and have various hearing and vision levels. Some people have close or low vision, others may have reduced peripheral fields of vision (Usher Syndrome), and another group may not have any useful vision at all. Some have residual hearing, are hard-of-hearing, and may/may not use hearing aids and cochlear implants, while others are profoundly deaf. There is also linguistic diversity in this group. Some need close/low vision interpreting, others will need one-handed/two-handed tactile sign language and fingerspelling interpreting.
There are environmental accommodations that must be made to provide quality interpreting services. One needs to consider clothing, distance, background, sign pace, sign language accommodations, and seating. These recommendations are found in this report from the National Deaf-Blind organization. Information about working with Trilingual Deaf-Blind consumers is available. Find more resources from the Deaf Interpreter Institute.
NTFDBI DeafBind Interpreting Guidelines
Deaf-Blind Interpreting: Many Paths on the Road
RID Standard Practice Paper – Interpreting for Individuals who are Deaf-Blind
Curriculum Guide for Infusing Deaf-Blind Interpreting into an Interpreter Education Program
World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) DeafBlind Interpreter Education Guidelines