Graduate project

Effective use of interpreters in education of the hearing impaired at the elementary level

Although sign language interpreters have long been used as facilitators of communication between the deaf and hearing, only within the past twenty years has the use of interpreters become a formal part of the educational system. School districts employ interpreters for mainstreaming hearing impaired students into classes with their hearing peers. Past research has focused on the interpreter at the post-secondary level, with little information related to interpreting at the elementary level in education. This project addresses two issues at the elementary level, procedures for successful student use of an interpreter in the mainstream and interpretive consumer education for all Total Communication hearing impaired students. The project discusses interpreter use as both an educational goal for students and as a process used to access education in a regular classroom. The project describes the development of a "Guideline for the use of Interpreters in Education of the Hearing Impaired at the Elementary Level.'' The guideline is included in the project.