A profile of the Deaf Interpreter emerges from the survey and focus group data collected by the NCIEC Deaf Interpreting work-team from 2007-2008.

Racial Characteristics
Deaf Interpreters (including both certified and non-certified practitioners) are predominantly white and female. NCIEC National DI Survey respondents were 88% white and 62% female.

Identification as Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Of NCIEC National DI Survey respondents, 89% identified as Deaf; 11% identified as Hard of Hearing.

Deaf Family Members
The majority (57%) of DI respondents had some Deaf family relationships, especially siblings and extended family.

Geographic Location
DIs live and work in all regions of the United States. However, most respondents were from the northeast, eastern seaboard, west, and southwest United states. Fewer responses were received from the central regions of the United States.

Comparing the ages of DI survey respondents, there was a close split: About half of respondents were 18-45 years of age and about half of respondents were 46 years of age and older.

Levels of Education
With regard to levels of education, National DI Survey respondents were a largely educated group:

  • Masters degree holders: 34%
  • Masters degree in progress: 5%
  • Associates degree holders or higher: 67%
  • Bachelors degree holders or higher: 54%
  • Doctoral degree holders: 1%
  • Doctoral degree in progress: 5%

Years of Experience
DI survey respondents’ years of experience were almost equally spread for years three to fifteen.

Those with the least experience (0-2 years) – 20%

Those with the most experience (more than 15 years) – 20%

Overall, the years of interpreting experience are closely split between those with less than 8 years and those with more than 9 years.

Read about how having Deaf family members, levels of education, and years of experience may relate to attainment of certification.