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10:6 Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A New Paradigm for Sign Language Interpretation

Explore the Partnerships Between Deaf Experts
in High-Level Professions and Their Interpreters

Until the advent of Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act) and Public Law 101-336 (Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990), interpreter or support services were virtually non-existent. Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, CEO and dean of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and vice president of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY, explains that “As various laws related to disability were created in the 1980s and 1990s, deaf professionals emerged in fields such as education, business and industry, social and human services, law, medicine, research, and government. Suddenly, both deaf consumers and interpreters needed to take a fresh look at confidentiality, ethics, and other issues relevant to the interpreting profession. Thus, the Deaf Professional–Designated Interpreter paradigm emerged.”

Deaf Professionals and Designated Interpreters: A New Paradigm, edited by Peter C. Hauser, Karen L. Finch, and Angela B. Hauser, defines a new model for interpreting dependent upon close partnerships among the growing number of deaf attorneys, educators, and other professionals and their interpreters. This volume’s chapters candidly explore the deaf professionals’ and designated interpreters’ experiences, advice, ideas, anecdotes, expectations, and resources to provide insight into the relationships between them in specific disciplines with respect to ethics and the interpreting processes. General themes that the chapters focus on include (a) how deaf professionals describe their interpreting needs; (b) what strategies teams of deaf professionals and their interpreters have developed to make the process work well within their discipline; (c) setting-specific (i.e., medical, legal, etc.) and situation-specific (i.e., social, meeting, etc.) demands; and (d) issues that arise (power, boundaries, ethics, etc.).

Read more about this engrossing collection in chapter one, “The Deaf Professional-Designated Interpreter Model”, and order Deaf Professionals and Designated Interpreters online or by mail to receive a special savings of 20% off the regular price. When ordering online, type “JUN0820%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information.


In Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France, Anne Quartararo depicts the struggle for Deaf French people to preserve their cultural heritage from the French Revolution in 1789 to their social activism against oralism through 1900. Drawing on a wide variety of historical documents to understand the development of the French deaf community during the nineteenth century, Quartararo attempts to “portray the genesis of the French deaf community, examine its identity as a minority culture, and analyze how deaf people during the nineteenth century developed strategies to defend their own society. I also hope that this study will contribute to a broader understanding of a deaf cultural heritage—a deaf patrimoine—that is historically connected to the preservation of French Sign Language. In the chapters that follow, you will learn about the richness and complexity of this deaf patrimoine that has remained in the shadows of history for so long. The struggles of French deaf people will help us understand that the safeguarding of a minority community rests upon a special partnership among those members who are willing to sacrifice the most.”

Read more about this exciting new study in chapter five, “Molding a Deaf Identity: Deaf Leaders, Banquets, and Community Rituals, 1830 to 1880”, and order Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France at a 20% savings off the regular price. For online orders, type “JUN0820%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information. You may also order by mail.


CHOICE magazine gives high marks to guest editor David Quinto-Pozos’s Sign Languages in Contact, the 13th volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series: “These essays focus on contact not between spoken and signed languages, but between signers of different sign languages. The processes that occur in contact between signed languages appear to be the same as those between spoken languages (convergence, borrowing, language shift, etc.). The essays are all interesting and scholarly but represent a variety of approaches. Two use lexicostatistics to support their claims, while the others have a more historical, sociological, or ethnographic approach. All are worth reading and will appeal to a variety of academic audiences. The six essays, divided into four not especially useful sections, discuss sign language contact in North America, Albania, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Israel; two sections have only one essay. Otherwise, Quinto-Pozos’s edited volume, part of the ‘Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities’ series, should be of great interest not only to scholars of sign language, but also to those interested in language contact. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.” View the table of contents and read the introduction, and order Sign Languages in Contact today.


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