Justisigns: An overview of accessibility to legal sign language interpreter provision, training and assessment across Europe

Tobias Haug, Liese Katschinka, Lorraine Leeson, Peter Llewellyn-Jones, Teresa Lynch, Jemina Napier, Haaris Sheikh, Graham H Turner, Myriam Vermeerbergen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

There is a growing body of literature that examines sign language interpreting provisions and practices in legal contexts in various countries (e.g., Brennan & Brown, 1997; McCay & Miller, 2005; Miller, 2001; Napier, 2011, 2012, 2013; Roberson, Russell & Shaw, 2011; Russell, 2002; Turner, 1995; Turner & Brown, 2001). The common theme in the results of all these studies is the limitations faced by deaf sign language users in gaining access to justice, either through inadequate interpreting provision, poor quality interpreting services, or lack of training, accreditation and standards for legal signed language interpreters and translators. The Justisigns project being conducted by a consortium of hearing and deaf researchers and signed language interpreter practitioners across Europe fits with the WASLI theme of ‘accessibility as a human right for Deaf people and the involvement of SL interpreters’ in that it represents a ground-breaking initiative focussing on providing qualified and qualifying sign language interpreters new competencies in interpreting within a legal setting. The remit of the project is to develop training courses to be made available to sign language interpreters, legal professionals and deaf sign language users in Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK. In addition the project will develop: a European guide for interpreters practicing in legal settings; a European guide for legal professionals working with Deaf communities and signed language interpreters to improve their communication skills; an information tool-kit for Deaf people in the national sign language to better understand the legal framework in each country; European outreach seminars and awareness sessions; project information leaflets; training posters with practical legal/sign language/Deaf culture & communication tips; and case studies of best practice and experiences from Deaf users.This mixed-methods study will involve surveying deaf people, interpreters and legal professionals through questionnaires, focus groups and interviews, as well as conducting qualitative linguistic case study analyses of signed language interpreter-mediated legal communication, with a view to informing the development of the training courses and other deliverables in the project. The first phase of the project involves the administration of an online questionnaire survey to professional signed language interpreter associations across Europe to develop an overview of the training, assessment, certification and accreditation available to legal signed language interpreters and translators.This presentation will, in effect, be a 'scoping' analysis, bringing current concerns to the fore and highlighting the topics that emerge as priorities for research and development in making quality legal sign language interpreting accessible.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2015
EventWorld Association of Sign Language Interpreters - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 22 Jul 201525 Jul 2015

Conference

ConferenceWorld Association of Sign Language Interpreters
CountryTurkey
CityIstanbul
Period22/07/1525/07/15

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    Haug, T., Katschinka, L., Leeson, L., Llewellyn-Jones, P., Lynch, T., Napier, J., Sheikh, H., Turner, G. H., & Vermeerbergen, M. (2015). Justisigns: An overview of accessibility to legal sign language interpreter provision, training and assessment across Europe. Paper presented at World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Istanbul, Turkey.