​​​​​​​The History of American Sign Language Essay Sample


The History of American Sign Language Essay Sample 

In the American Sign Language community, the deaf and hard of hearing people always have had a hard time communicating with hearing people.  People who have hearing disabilities have been treated differently than hearing people ever since the 1800’s.  It wasn’t until the 1850’s when people with hearing disabilities had their own residential school.  Since then, America has gradually increased to be more helpful and overall more considerate to people who have disabilities.  Interpreting as a career is very difficult since many people often confuse translating with interpreting making it difficult to communicate; interpreters must go through long testing procedures to get their certificates with the NIC, if interpreters want to work in schools they must go through another round of testing to get the EIPA certificate as well.

Often people confuse translating and interpreting as the same concept when they are both different styles of communicating.  Interpreting is paraphrasing or changing the structure depending what the speaker says.  In contrast, according to The Sign Language Interpreting Studies Readers translating is, “thoughts and words of the speaker are presented verbatim,” (Napier).  In American Sign Language translating isn’t common unless the deaf/hard-of-hearing person is extremely literate who likes to have word for word.  The need for interpreters is extremely high because there are only a handful of interpreters so most deaf/hard-of-hearing people will not have access to an interpreter unless they are participating in a public service such as being involved with court.  Rolling over, most public services already have an American Sign Language interpreter on hand so the deaf/hard-of-hearing person doesn’t have a chance misinterpreting what is being said.  For example, in The Sign Language Interpreting Studies Readers it explains what are some of the best places to have an interpreter, “legal problems in which people become involved require a sensitive and impartial inter-preter to assist in courtroom procedures, witness testimony, and general legal transactions involving real estate, bank notes, wills, insurance, compensation, and domestic relations,” (Napier).  This quote shows all the places where interpreters are very important, with most interpreters in those public services it is hard to get one for personal use.  Next, when having an interpreter for personal use deaf/hard-of-hearing people must talk to the interpreter and agree with they want interpreting for translating, this always will fluctuate depending on what situation the deaf/hard-of-hearing person is in.  In conclusion, interpreting is very hard because different signers like different ways such as translating or interpreting but the interpreters in the public services must interpret since it is the most common communication.

In the late 1960’s and early 70’s the government announced that American Sign Language interpreters were now recognized as professions.  To become an interpreter the interpreter must go through testing and get a certificate, one of the programs was: The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).  Every certificate had different credentials to be able to pass that certain program, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Inc. says "RID certifications are a highly valued asset and provide an independent verification of an interpreter’s knowledge and abilities allowing them to be nationally recognized for the delivery of interpreting services among diverse users of signed and spoken languages."(Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Inc.).  Between the 1990’s and early 2000’s the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) had become the main program to get the interpreter certification.  The RID and the NAD were going head to head over who would be the best program.  After a few years of battling, in 2002 they had a formal collaboration system called National Interpreter Certification.  This certification has three levels to it, the normal beginner, the advanced, and the master.  This certification consisted of a written test, interview, and a performance test.  According to Verywell Health their program keeps getting harder, “However, starting in June 2012, hearing candidates for interpreter certification had to have at least a bachelor's degree and as of June 2016, deaf candidates for interpreter certification needed to have at least a bachelor's degree, but requirements may vary by state.” (Berke).  This quote shows that the program doesn’t want anyone to join, they want people who have gone to college and have an education.  This is important because depending where you want to work you may need knowledge of that career and vocabulary.  To summarize, there is now only one program to become a certified interpreter and to be allowed to be in the program the candidate must have a four-year degree.

Interpreters can go into any career they desire, because there is always a need for one all the places deaf/hard-of-hearing people go.  Since there is so much demand for interpreters but there aren't a lot of qualified interpreters most of the interpreters go into the jobs that pay they are most needed for.  National Association of the Deaf gave some of the main careers interpreters go into, “ educational interpreting in K-12 and higher education settings; in the community, such as for doctor’s visits, court appearances, and business meetings; and for the provision of video relay services(VRS) and video remote interpreting (VRI) services.” (National Association of the Deaf).  This quote shows that these interpreters are looking for the jobs and careers that they will be mostly needed for since they are in high demand.  To go off the educational settings there is another program/ certification that the interpreters need to go through to be able to work at the schools.  This is to make sure that they are able to interpret what is being said and the careful instructions that come with it since a lot of teachers go into deep detail.  This certification is called  Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA).  To pass the program, the candidate must get a 4.0 on the EIPA test, and according to Classroom interpreting other requirements are, “Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification, NAD-RID certification (NIC) at a certified level, NAD certification of at least a 4.0, Degree or coursework in an educationally-related field, BA degree (preferred), Graduate of an Interpreter Training Program, 24 – 30 credit hours of educational coursework, a formal assessment of content knowledge related to educational interpreting,the ability to perform as a professional member of the educational team.” (Schick).  To explain, this quote shows that it is extremely difficult to become certified to be able to work in the education field.  To summarize, there are many career and job opportunities for interpreters but some careers do need more certifications then others.

In conclusion, interpreters have come a long way of finally being recognized as a professional career and also a career that is in high demand.  To become a certified interpreter it takes a lot of work and dedication to get through all the procedures in the program and pass all the tests with exceptional grades.  Interpreters have lots of careers to choose from but some do need more education, training, experience, and certifications.  Interpreting is different from translating and interpreting is more common but the signers need to communicate to decide what is better in that situation.Translating and interpreting are both very difficult skills, it takes a lot of work to become qualified to help people with hearing disabilities, lots focus and inspiration to want to work to get more certificates to help children in schools.

 

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