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Preparing for an Interpreting Assignment

Preparing for an Interpreting Assignment

by DB-LINK on May 1, 2010
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The resources in this section cover information for both presenters and interpreters working with deaf-blind people. 


CASE OF THE MISSING NECKLINE, Jacobs, Rhonda. 2011, 1. This one page fictional narrative illustrates the effect of an interpreter’s neckline on a deaf-blind person’s comprehension of an interpreted question.  It is written from the perspective of a deaf-blind person with tunnel vision. RID VIEWS, Vol. 28 Issue 1,Winter 2011, p. 19 


DEAF-BLIND CONNECTIONS: Deaf-Blind Interpreting in Court, Jacobs, Rhonda. 2009, 3. Outlines what interpreters need to know when interpreting in court for deaf-blind persons. Topics include a discussion of the types of expertise that interpreters need (deaf-blind vs. legal); how to prepare for interpreting in court; how to prepare the court (e.g., materials that should be sent in advance to an attorney or court clerk); how to request and select interpreters who meet the needs of a specific deaf-blind individual; meeting in advance with court personnel; and preparing the deaf-blind consumer. VIEWS, vol. 26, #1, Winter 2009, pp. 46-47, 49.


DEAFBLIND INTERPRETING GUIDELINES, National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) (2014) Adapted from Interpreter Guidelines by Sharon Barrey Grassick, Communication Specialist, Western Australia, 2001. These guidelines provide interpreters and interpreter agencies with an awareness of the unique needs of DeafBlind people and their individual interpreting needs. It is important to remember that support needs vary greatly among DeafBlind people.  


DRESSED TO DISTRESS? Potterveld, Tara, M.A., IC/TC, CI and CT; Lambert, Marylouise, B.A., OTC. 2001, 2. This article discusses the need for interpreters to be more aware of the possibility that the deaf client may also have low vision needs. Discusses the need for interpreters to wear clothing that contrasts with their skin color. Good lighting, the interpreters utilization of smaller signing space may also be of assistance to the limited vision client. The article includes additional guidelines for interpreting for deaf-blind people. Available in Spanish. This document is available on the web at: SEE/HEAR, vol. 6, #1, Winter 2001, pp. 9-10.


A GUIDE FOR PRESENTERS AT INTERPRETED CONFERENCES, Jacobs, Rhonda; Hammett, Richelle. 1994, 2. This article discusses the difficulties an interpreter faces when trying to interpret for speakers at conferences. Suggestions are offered as to how the speaker can make the sign language interpreter's task easier. This document is available on the web at: DEAF-BLIND PERSPECTIVES, vol. 1, no. 3, Spring 1994, pp. 4-5.


INTERPRETING AND TRANSLITERATING FOR PERSONS WHO ARE DEAF-BLIND, Raistrick, Kathryn L., (Ed.) no date, 13. This brochure is an aid for those who are interpreting for persons who are deaf-blind. Interpreting for this population requires specialized competence and responsibilities. This is an effort to delineate these skills, as well as to discuss considerations for the interpreter both before and at the assignment. Modes of communication for persons who are deaf-blind vary widely due to the etiology of the deaf-blindness, the severity of the vision and hearing loss, as well as the age of onset. A comprehensive listing is included of most of the modes of communication used in the United States with persons who are deaf-blind. This list is not exhaustive, however, it will give the interpreter an overview of some of the varieties of communication options available. The information would also be of value to persons hiring interpreters as well as consumers. Few individuals know how demanding interpreting for persons who are deaf-blind can be. Appropriate preparation by all parties before an interpreting situation could make the interpreting situation much more effective.


INTERPRETING AND WORKING WITH DEAFBLIND PEOPLE, Bar-Tzur, David. 2000, 9. Offers advice to interpreters working with persons who are deafblind. Covers four areas: meeting and negotiating needs, communication, guiding, and interpreting. Online version has links to additional information. Publisher's web site: This document is available on the web at:


INTERPRETING THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FOR DEAFBLIND PEOPLE, Kirk, Tony. -- Deafblind International Publications: 2005, 4. This brief article outlines six environmental adaptations that can be made to support a person who is deafblind in their independence and self-sufficiency. The adaptations are primarily intended for the home environment, but the concepts can be generalized to an awareness of environmental factors that can pose barriers. Available at:


TIPS ON MINIMIZING FATIGUE OR PAIN DURING TACTILE COMMUNICATION, Damato, Nadia. 2014, 1. The author of this article is a tactile ASL user. She  provides tips to minmize the pain for DeafBlind people during Tactile ASL (TASL). Tips on receiving Tactile Communication as well as tips on providing Tactile Communication are listed.  RID VIEWS, vol. 31, #1, Winter 2014, p. 36

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