To gain a better understanding of the current status and practice of Deaf interpreting, the NCIEC Deaf Interpreting Work-team prepared and conducted six focus groups of Deaf Interpreters during the spring and summer of 2007.

Participants were recruited from each of the five NCIEC regions to ensure representation of Deaf Interpreters from across the United States; a sixth group comprised Deaf Interpreters from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Each group included four to six practicing Deaf Interpreters, evenly representing Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) and non-certified participants. The total number of participants was 26.

How the Focus Groups were Conducted, Recorded and Analyzed
Members of the NCIEC Deaf Interpreting Work-team, Eileen Forestal, Carole Lazorisak, Priscilla Moyers, Cynthia Napier and Debbie Peterson, each facilitated one or more of the focus groups using a common set of stimulus questions and protocol devised by the work-team in consultation with NCIEC’s Effective Practices consultants.The focus groups were conducted in ASL and videotaped by Deaf technicians. Certified ASL-English interpreters transcribed the discussions in English. Each group facilitator verified the accuracy and completeness of her group’s transcript before the analysis began.

An independent researcher, Dr. Genie Gertz, was hired to analyze the data working from both the English transcriptions and the videotapes. Her findings, presented to the Deaf Interpreting Work-team, served as the basis for the report titled “Deaf Interpreting Current Practice: Analysis of Deaf Interpreter Focus Group Discussions Conducted April-July 2007.”

Emerging Themes
The following themes emerged from the focus group discussions:

1. Formative Experiences of Deaf Interpreters

2. Professional Standards and Expectations

3. Formal Preparation of Deaf Interpreters

4. Employment Issues

Read Full Report: Analysis of Deaf Interpreter focus group discussions conducted April-July 2007