Saturday, 16 July 2011

"Thinking Through Ethics: The Development of Ethical Decision-Making Among Sign Language Interpreters" - Elizabeth Mendoza

The presentation is based on the doctoral work conducted last year. I have noticed the difference between new interpreters and the interpreters who have been in the field for a longer time. And do these two groups make different ethical decisions based on the years of interpreting experiences.

The overarching question is: Are there differences in how nocive and expert ASL interpreters make ethical decisions?

I analysed the materials in the USA, such as the professional code of conduct and the NAD RID Rubric Anchors. I designed an online survey which was sent to 1403 interpreters and 393 responded, of which 225 were novices and 168 experts. Following the survey I coded the answers. The codes were for example "do good", "fidelity", "do no harm".

The presenter found that the novices were able to identify the main tenets of the code of conduct, but they were unable to identify the subtle tenets.

So how do novices and experts differ in making ethical decisions? There are differences found in contractual obligations and mixing personal and professional lives.

How do interpreters talk about situations. Novice interpreters talked about the situations in more detail (high context0 and the experts would not (low context). Also the novice interpreters based their decision on the individual outcome and not on the community outcome, eg. how does it effect my situation, not so much how does it effect the wole community.

This means that novice interpreters need more time to make decisions that is good for the whole, not just covering individual but more collective needs. What we can do with these findings is that we can improve the training of interpreters. 

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