Sunday, March 28, 2010

Impact of CIs on sign language interpreters

I am forwarding a request from a interpreting student for his assignment. Could you help answer his questions below?


I'm a first year student at the Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I study to become a sign language interpreter.
For an assignment I'm trying to find out what kind of impact the rising number of CI users will have on sign language interpreters.

I'm very curious to know what we, as future sign language interpreters, have to keep in mind when interpreting for children with a CI.
Unfortunatly it's very hard to find information about this subject. I was hoping maybe you will be able to help me with a few questions.

-Do children with a CI have different needs when it comes to interpreting and what aspects should interpreters pay extra attention to?
-What kind of interpreting is preferred for children with a CI? ASL, Manually Coded English or other?
-Do you believe children with a CI will be in need of a interpreter (sometimes) as they grow up?

I apologise if I made language errors, English isn't my native language. I hope you will be able to give me some information, or maybe you'd like to share some stories.

Kind regards,

Marrit Slemmer

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Student Researcher needs young CI users to participate in a online survey

A deaf/hh graduate student majoring in Audiology at Gallaudet University is doing a research study project titled "Young Adults’ Perspectives on Their Communication Experiences with Cochlear Implants."

He is looking for participants (with cochlear implants) that would like to share their thoughts and communication experiences using their cochlear implants. He has created an online survey for those who would like to participate. Please click on the link below. It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete the survey.

This study is not limited only to Cochlear Implant users who use ASL, but anyone who is above the age of 18 and has a cochlear implant. Your help to reach out to the emerging population of cochlear implant users to participate the online survey would be greatly appreciated.

This research study has been approved by the the Institutional Review Board.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can We Help Marina?

I received a response in the comments section of my last blog from Marina. She needs advice, and I think it needs a bigger response than any one of us can handle alone.

Marina writes: "I am an advocate for the Deaf in Armenia, a country where the latest "trend" or "fashion" is to have deaf children implanted. The tragedy is that the parents and the deaf community is not well informed about cochlear implants. I do have a site, called Please advise."

My answer is this: It is very important, if anyone is contemplating getting an implant, to be as educated as possible. You need to know what to expect for both the surgery, and the aural therapy required afterwards. You need to decide what type of therapy you want; Auditory/Verbal, Auditory/Oral, Total Communication, ASL-Verbal (or whatever sign language is called in Armenia); Verbal with Cued Speech or some other combination of the above. You also need to become educated on where the implant works well and where it doesn't, so your expectations are reasonable. To get an implant without understanding the therapy needs afterwards is a very bad idea. The doctors absolutely need to be sure that the patient (and/or the parents if the patient is a child) clearly understands that the implant is not a quick fix, and that it will take years of dedicated therapy to get the maximum value out of the implant.

It is also important to become well educated about the local Deaf Community. There is support there and options for families that many parents do not even know about. But whatever decision the parents make, there needs to be trust and continued communication between the parents and the Deaf Community. That can only happen if everyone is willing to be open without condemnation for choices made or not made. This goes both ways, and is essential for trust to be given.

How about it? What advice can you give Marina?