General Discussion area
Theme One: Deaf Education
The social life of deaf children
in the mainstream (John Anderson)
How well do we prepare deaf children for mainstreaming? We
all know that they need to have strong language and speech
skills. But we also know that deaf children struggle with
social relationships in the mainstream. Friendship can be
difficult to build and maintain. Do deaf children need intensive
training in social skills for mainstreaming? What is the role
of self-advocacy in social relationships? Are there special
issues for deaf teenagers? These are some of the questions
that we will explore for this presentation.
Theme Two: Ethics and Professionalism
The power of personality: A study
of signed language interpreters (Karen Bontempo)
Is there a personality type, or set of dispositional traits
that might be predictive of performance as a signed language
interpreter? Organisational psychologists have long theorised
that the notions of a "work personality" and "person-vocation
fit" have legitimacy, and interest in measuring the range
of factors that may be predictive of performance in the field
of signed language interpreting has increased in recent years.
Identifying the characteristics that are likely predictors
of success in the profession would be extremely valuable for
interpreter educators, as such information may impact on program
admission criteria and course curricula; would likely improve
student outcomes and exit standards; and could reduce attrition
rates from courses and the profession. Better understanding
the personal and cognitive characteristics that may contribute
to competent performance in the profession has merit in the
present context of limited supply of practitioners, increasing
demands in the marketplace, and higher consumer and employer
expectations of quality and standards of practice. However,
no definitive findings about the psychological 'make-up' of
signed language interpreters have been gleaned from previous
studies to date. Yet, a number of factors considered promising
predictors of performance in the field of organisational psychology,
specifically those arising from a social-cognitive paradigm
for the study of personality, have not been measured in signed
language interpreters. These include factors such as self-efficacy,
goal orientation and negative affectivity.
This research paper will report on the findings of a questionnaire
administered to 110 signed language interpreters in Australia,
which was designed to measure self-efficacy, goal orientation
and negative affectivity.
What can we learn from nurses?
This abstract is provisional. Updated information will be
added as soon as it becomes available.
In so many ways, the intepreting profession resembles the
nursing profession. Both historically have majority female
practitioners and both began as helping professions. Nurses
also were long viewed as less than professionals but have
managed to bring their work to the status of a real profession.
Interestingly, in doing so they have debated and developed
ethics differing from doctors.
While doctors' traditional value of "do no harm"
exists along with autonomy, nurses are concerned also with
expressing care and empowerment for those under their charge.
In an effort to professionalize, intepreters seem to have
adopted ethics more like those of doctors. But what can we
learn from nurses? What are some of the concepts that inform
nurses' ethical decisions? Are they better suited to interpreters'
work, especially interpreters who maintain positions inside
of Deaf communities? Do nurses provide a model for professionalization
while remaining within our communities rather than "moving
up" and out of them?