Jules Dickinson explores in detail the complexities and challenges of sign language interpreting in workplace settings.
The last forty years have seen a dramatic change in the nature of work, with deaf people increasingly moving into white collar or office-based professions. The rise of deaf professionals has led to employment opportunities for signed language interpreters across a variety of workplace settings, creating a unique set of challenges that require specialized strategies. Aspects such as social interaction between employees, the unwritten patterns and rules of workplace behavior, hierarchical structures, and the changing dynamics of deaf employee/interpreter relationships place constraints upon the interpreter’s role and interpreting performance.
Jules Dickinson’s examination of interpreted workplace interactions is based on the only detailed, empirical study of this setting to date. Using practitioner responses and transcripts of real-life interpreted workplace interactions, Dickinson’s findings demonstrate the complexity of the interpreter’s role and responsibilities. The book concentrates on the ways in which signed language interpreters affect the interaction between deaf and hearing employees in team meetings by focusing on humor, small talk, and the collaborative floor. Signed Language Interpreting in the Workplace demonstrates that deaf employees require highly skilled professionals to enable them to integrate into the workplace on a level equal with their hearing peers. It also provides actionable insights for interpreters in workplace settings that will be a valuable resource for interpreting students, practitioners, interpreter trainers, and researchers.
Jules Dickinson is a BSL-English interpreter and an honorary research fellow (School of Management and Languages) at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.