March 2, 2011

Interpreted Education

I came across this term "interpreted education" (

It refers to deaf or hard of hearing students receiving information from their teachers and peers via sign language interpretation. Therefore, it can be said that they are receiving an interpreted education or an education that is translated by someone else other than the teacher.

What does this mean to you? Do you think deaf and hard of hearing students with even highly qualified interpreters have full and equal access to education like everyone else in the classroom (who instead receive the information auditorally and instantly)?



  1. No, I don't.

    I have cringed when watching interpreters translate training while also listening to the instructor. The deaf/hh are missing out on a lot.

    Which is why I prefer CART. And, I think many deaf/hh will benefit a lot with being fluent in English and using CART for their education. Unless, they have a teacher who can sign fluently.


  2. I honestly dont think cart (or ASL interpreter) do not help a student would be forced to look at three ways- the teacher, the board, and the interpreters...if he look at the interpreter, he would miss the step-by-step visual examples the teacher wrote on the board. But if he look at the board (or his paper to copy down notes) and not the teacher, he would miss some of the verbal instructions. Theres many time in math where I missed the instructions and I had to figure it out on my own. More reason for TOD because she more likely keep up with the students instead of students keeping uo with the teacher (they can look down, at the board, or whatever WHILE listening).

  3. Having TOD would be the best benefit as long as the TOD is skilled in using ASL and has been evaluated for signing.

    I also think CART would be great -- I would prefer CART over an inept interpreter.

    SO the ideal situation for public schools is to hire TOD's and then have CART when deaf students are mainstreamed..

  4. Even with a highly qualified interpreter, students don't have equal or full access to the classroom; they miss out on other little nuances that happen- another student speaks, and isn't interpreted, tone of voice, etc etc. It's also exhausting. I have used interpreters for a variety of things, and in an educational setting all day, it is totally exhausting. I'm usually tired within an hour or two, and my eyes hurt. Eyes are muscles after all. Imagine a poor little one having to sit through all that eye-exercises?

    It's different in a deaf school or classroom since the eyes have the opportunity to rest and move around. With an interpreter, eyes are on one person for however long, and that one person signs all voices (ideally).

    I also disagree about CART- CART is fine for people who have good language skills. However, many deaf/hoh kids still struggle with English. On top of that, CART picks up even less nuances that an interpreter would (unless the interpreter was inept like someone mentioned), such as tone. And a student can't ask for clarification. On top of that, ir requires fast reading skills. Many kids don't read that fast. Whenever I had access to CART, I found it extremely distracting, and sometimes too fast, but that's just me.

    I agree that a TOD who is fluent in signing would be more beneficial in mainstreamed schools.

  5. Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. It is especially helpful from those who experienced it themselves. Gave me a lot to think about.

  6. I am wondering what to say to an interpreter who constantly tries to keep the student focused on her during class. Sometimes he looks away or closes his eyes for a few seconds. I did not think that maybe he is tired and just needs a moment to rest. As Spiritual Nomad pointed out, it can be exhausting.

  7. Interpreters cannot expect deaf students to keep looking at them all times -- I would tell them that they have the same rights as hearing students -- they are free to look away or whatever. It is up to the teacher to make sure, not the interpreter. I wish there was a national certification for educational interpreters so they would know what they can and cannot do instead of being all in one..

  8. Speaking of CART, my son had it for almost 3 years... he had three people quit on CART, because it could be boring for people typing on it. It was a bit hard on my son because he had to develop relationship with each new typist (so-called visual field interpreters.)


Keep it civil.