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Jessica Minges

on 19 July 2014

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Transcript of 1973-1989

1973-1979: Feminism

"50 Years Celebrating the People of RID." (2014)
Silver Springs, MD: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Retrieved from http://rid.org/userfiles/File/pdfsRID_50th_Anniversary.pdf
"A Brief Introduction to the National Association of the Deaf Interpreter Assessment and Certification Program."
Retrieved from http://www.jsu.edu/depart/dssrresource-vr/cer-nad.html
Ball, C. (2013). Legacies and legends: history of interpreter education from 1800 to the 21st century. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Interpreting
Bienvenue, M.J. (1987). The Third Culture: Working Together. Journal of Interpretation, IV, 1-12
Borzelleca, D. (2012, February 16).
"The Male-Female Ratio in College." Forbes.
Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/02/16/the-male-female-ratio-in-college/

Brunson, J.
"Sign Language Interpreting: Moving Towards Professionalization."
Retrieved from http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/mdevault/JeremyBrunson.pdf
Cokely, D. (2000, Fall)
. "Exploring Ethics: A Case for Revising the Code of Ethics".
Journal of Interpretation, p. 25-57.

Cokely, D. (2005).
"Shifting Positionality: A Critical Examination of the Turning Point in the Relationship of Interpreters and the Deaf Community".
In Marschark, M.,
Peterson, R., & Winston, E. A. (Eds.),
Sign Language Interpreting and Interpreter Education (pp. 3-28).
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gannon, J. R. (1981).
Deaf heritage: A narrative history of deaf America.
Silver Spring, Md.:
National Association of the Deaf.
Gillis, C. "1970-1979." (2010).
American Cultural History.
Lone Star College-Kingwood Library, Kingwood, TX.
Retrieved from http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/decade70.html
"GLAD History" (2014) Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved from http://www.gladinc.org/about-glad/glad-history
Humphrey, J. & Alcorn, B. (2007).
So you want to be an interpreter: An introduction to sign language interpreting.
Seattle, WA: H & H Publishing Company.
Josiassen, J. (1983).
Notetakers, Tutors, & Educational Interpreters in Public Schools: A Project T.E.A.M. Training Manual.
Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education,
Washington, D.C.
Lane, H. L., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan, B. (1996).
A journey into the Deaf-World.
San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.
Minkin, M. & Rosen-Ritt, L. (1978).
Signs for sexuality: A resource manual for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families, and professionals.
Seattle, WA: Planned
Parenthood of Seattle - King County.
Riekehof, L. L., (1975). Factors related to interpreter proficiency. Reprinted in: Language and communication research problems: Proceedings of the second
Gallaudet symposium on research in Deafness. (October 30-31, 1975). Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C.
"Second Wave Feminism."
Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-conservative-turn-of-america-1968-1989/the-reagan-administration/second-wave-feminism
"The 1980's."
n.d. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/1980s

"The Sexual Revolution and the Pill."
Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-sixties-1960-1969/the-expansion-of-the-civil-rights-movement/the-sexual-revolution-and-the-pill/
Woodward, J. (1980).
Signs of drug use: An introduction to drug and alcohol vocabulary in American Sign Language.
Silver Spring, MD: T.J. Publishers, Inc.
Woodward, J. (1980).
Signs of sexual behavior: An introduction to some sex-related vocabulary in American Sign Language.
Silver Spring, MD: T.J. Publishers, Inc.

The second wave of feminism led to a dramatic
increase of women entering the professional world
("Second Wave", n.d.). Borzelleca (2012) states, "Total [college] enrollment figures show that females outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time in the late 1970s, and they have steadily increased their numerical advantage ever since" (para. 2). This likely helped create space for the
development of our field
, as it was/is predominantly female, as is clear in Cokely's demographic survey at the 1980 RID conference, where 76% of attendees were female

(Brunson, p.5).

As a female-dominated field, the
traditional view of women as "caretakers"
is evident in early perceptions of
interpreters as "helpers"
(Brunson, p. 4). The push to abandon this helper mentality and
establish ourselves as professionals
appears to reflect a broader feminist agenda AND the movement (discussed earlier) advocating for equal rights for Deaf people. This effort can be seen in the revision of the RID Code of Ethics, the development of RID certifications, the establishment of interpreter training organizations and the proliferation of publications about ASL linguistics, all of which will be discussed next.

1970s Publications
1973-1979: Civil Rights
The 1970s and 1980s were a time of change in the interpreting and Deaf communities. Throughout these periods, trends within our field are often a reflection of larger historical themes. In this presentation, we will touch on those themes, as well as other useful information from this era.
1980-1989: Effects of Professionalization
In the 1980s, the emerging ideal of the
impacted what it meant to be a "professional." Much of the focus was on materialism (binge buying and credit) and status-seeking (Whitley, 2008).

This trend
affected the interpreting profession
and the view of the professional interpreter. As
M.J. Bienvenu
(1987) mentioned, "“Interpreters have become very Hearing in their attitudes and very ‘professional’ in the sense we have discussed the use of the sign PROFESSION. They have started to take on an attitude that can be expressed as follows: I am a professional. I have paid a great deal for and gone to great lengths to attain my education. It is important for you to pay me for my work. Deaf people are taken aback at this change in attitude since they were unprepared for this shift toward ‘professionalism’” (p. 6).

Dennis Cokely (2000)
also notes, "Whereas two and a half decades ago the vast majority of interpreters/transliterators entered the profession via an interactional route, today the vast majority enters via an
academic route
" (p. 3). This shift likely added to the concerns expressed by Bienvenu.
1980-1989: Disconnection
The 1980's also brought a rise in
conservative values.
The first republican-run government in 26 years occurred under Ronald Reagan in 1980. Many liberals of the 1960's and 1970's lost faith in the Democratic Party's social programs and ability to represent their interests. In response, they shifted their focus from social justice and equality to
individual material success
("The 1980's, n.d.).

In the
community, with the push toward professionalization, this same focus on individual success may have added to the
between interpreters and the Deaf community. Through our attempts to
demonstrate our status
to hearing people that interpreters were professional, we created a
new brand of inequality.
This is evident in Bienvenu's (1987) statement that "Deaf speakers have become accustomed to the idea that the interpreter will be behind the deaf person and they have to accommodate the interpreter by stopping and allowing her to catch up. By contrast, when interpreters are working voice-to-sign, they simply sign away. If they miss something, they do not stop the hearing speaker. Apparently, we have integrated the notion that hearing speakers’ status is sufficiently higher than dead speakers, that we cannot impose on them in the same way” (p. 3).
1973-1979 Themes: civil rights, changing values, feminism
At this time, there were a growing number of publications that focused on
ASL linguistics
after William C. Stokoe's research into the legitimacy of ASL as a language. This can be considered
a movement of its own
, one that strives to
mainstream the once radical notion of ASL linguistics
, further demonstrating to the public that ASL is a language. Some of these publications include:

Battison, R. M. (1977).
Lexical borrowing in American Sign Language.
Washington, D.C.: Linstok Press.
DeVries, R. D. & Ingram, B. (1978).
“Sign Language Interpretation: The State of the Art." Language Interpretation and Communication NATO Conference Series (6),
pp 81-85.
Friedman, L. (1977)
. On the other hand,
New York: Academic Press.
Hoemann, H., (1978).
Communicating with Deaf People.
Baltimore: University Park Press.
Klima, E. S. & Bellugi, U. (1979).
The Signs of Language,
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Riekehof, L. (1978).
The Joy of Signing. S
pringfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House.
Sign Language Studies,
first volume published in 1972

In a time of anti-war protests, the passage of Roe v. Wade, and the mainstreaming of radical politics (Gillis, 2010) there was also a
push for equal rights for those who were viewed as disabled
. Some of the most influential legal actions were noted in Gannon (1981) :

- Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (p.384)
Section 504 required institutions that receive federal aid to eliminate barriers that impede the admission of handicapped students
- FCC adopted a ruling to require television networks to provide visual captioning to warn Deaf people of emergencies (p.386)
- PL 94-142 “Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975” passed under President Gerald Ford (p. 397)
Free, appropriate public education; “Appropriate” was defined as placing the child in a program that best fit his needs as opposed to attempting to fit the child to a program
- FCC reserved Line 21 on the television screen for captions (p. 386)
Supreme Court ruled that schools could not be forced to accept handicapped persons who are not able to meet essential physical requirements (p.384-385)
Frances Davis - severe hearing loss, wanted to be a nurse and go to college in North Carolina; based on Section 504 of Rehab Act
Court sided with school
1973-1979: Changing Values
At the national level, there was a continued
decline of "traditional" values
in our society. For example, the sexual revolution that began in the 1960's led to the legalization of abortion in 1973 and the increase in rates of premarital sex ("The Sexual Revolution", n.d.). In our field, interpreters were now faced with the need to know how to interpret phrases that might have been viewed as
in years prior. This appears to have led to publications such as:

Minkin and Rosen-Ritt (1978)
Signs for Sexuality
Woodward (1979)
Signs of Sexual Behavior
; and then subsequently his 1980 publication,
Signs of Drug Use
Other values that were changing were those of the role of women in society and their growing numbers in the professional world. This leads us to our next theme:
1980-1989 Themes: professionalization, disconnection
The publications during this time reflect the
rising tension
between interpreters' attempt to professionalize and the need to recognize the central role of the Deaf community. The following exemplify this tension:

RID begins publishing the VIEWS
Baker-Shenk, C. (1985).
“Characteristics of Oppressed and Oppressor Peoples: Their effect on the interpreting process." Interpreting: The art of cross-cultural mediation.
Proceedings of the Ninth National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
Frishberg, N. (1986).
Interpreting: An Introduction.
RID Publications.
Gannon, J. R. (1981).
Deaf heritage: A narrative history of deaf America.
Silver Spring, Md.: National Association of the Deaf.
Gish, S. (1986).
“I understood all the words — but I missed the point.” New dimensions in interpreter education.
Conference of Interpreter Trainers.
Humphries, C. & Padden. T. (1988). Deaf in America: Voices from a culture. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.
Isham, W. (1985).
“The Role of Message Analysis in Interpretation” Interpreting: The art of cross-cultural mediation.
Proceedings of the Ninth National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
Lane, H. (1984).
When the mind hears: A history of the Deaf.
New York: Random House.
Seleskovitch, D. & Lederer, M. (1989).
A Systematic approach to teaching interpretation.
(English translation by J.Harmer of Seleskovitch, D. and Lederer, M. (1989)
, Pedagogie raisonnee de l'interpretation),
1st edn, The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
Van Cleve, J. V., (1989)
. A place of their own.
Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press
1980's: Training for Interpreters
1970's Training for Interpreters
As the field grew, opportunities for formal training became increasingly necessary. According to Ball (2013), there were several places that an interpreter could be trained, such as
1973- Deafness Research and Training Center at New York University - short term intensive training program for interpreters (p.58).
Other programs already in existence at CSUN, Gallaudet, St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute, and NTID continued to provide Interpreter Training Programs (p. 54-60).

Additionally, there were organizations, publications and events to assist in standardization of training interpreters:
1973: First Published Curriculum Guide for Interpreter Training (p. 68).
1974: the National Interpreter Training Consortium was created (p. 63).
1978: The Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) was developed. Their first conference was held in 1979 with conferences held biennially thereafter (p. 69).

With the focus on professionalization, the 1980s saw more
opportunities for training interpreters
at the graduate level as well as more resources for standardization of ITPs:

Resource Guide of Interpreter Training Programs published (Ball, 2013, p.89)
Project T.E.A.M. Training Manual; a result of the fact that "the RID has not established guidelines for educational interpreters" (Josiassen, 1983, p. 188). This training manual provides information for selecting qualified Educational Interpreters, selecting the signing system to use, and information to further explain the role and use of Educational Interpreters
Pilot M.A. program developed at Western Maryland College (Ball, 2013, p. 102)
Goal: to "develop an 11-course graduate curriculum for teachers of American Sign Language (ASL) and teachers of ASL/English Interpreting" (Baker-Shenk, p.1).
Endorsement System (for Educational Standards) was approved by both the CIT and RID Boards (Ball, 2013, p. 92)
Gallaudet University M.A. in Interpreting is approved (Ball, 2013, p. 102)

Further evidence of this trend comes from the 1975 Seventh World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Washington, D.C.
(Gannon, 1981, p.396-397)

Theme: “Full Citizenship for all Deaf People
Called on all nations and the United Nations to give more attention to the needs of deaf persons
Supported deaf people controlling their own organizations and being given the opportunity to assume leadership roles in programs serving deaf youth and adults

Certification Revised
Generalist Certificates: CSC - Comprehensive Skills Certificate (offered 1972 - 1988)
Interpreting Certificate (IC), Transliterating Certificate (TC) and IC/TC were all certifications that could be awarded to those who did not meet the high standards of the CSC
This test included a panel of 5 interpreters and members of the deaf community who would interview candidates live during the test (Humphrey & Alcorn, 2007, p. 271)

RSC - Reverse Skills Certificate - awarded only to Deaf / hard-of-hearing interpreters transliterators (offered 1972 - 1988)

Specialist Certificates
SC: L - Specialist Certificate: Legal (first offered between 1975 and 1978
SC: PA - Specialist Certificate: Performing Arts (first offered between 1975 - 1978)

OIC: C - Oral Interpreting Certificate (first offered between 1979 - 1983)

Deaf President Now: March, 1988
Just as Bienvenu was concerned about interpreters' seeming disregard for Deaf people's needs, the Deaf community
stood up against the disregard
for Deaf people's desire to have one of their own as president of Gallaudet.

(Lane, Hoffmeister, Bahan, 1996)
“prior to 1988, most Deaf people, especially university-educated Deaf Americans, did not consider that Gallaudet truly belonged to the DEAF-WORLD. First, it was controlled by hearing poeple, and second it promoted a hearing agenda.” (p. 128)
Board chose a hearing president for Gallaudet over I. King Jordan, a qualified deaf person, Deaf students were interviewed on national television (p. 129)
National support of congressmen and many government workers: “Said one senator, “You have succeeded in educating the world about Deafness, the concerns of Deaf people, and the simple truth that we all need and are entitled to dignity and respect” (p. 130).

Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics adopted in
reflected the view of Deaf people as
(Cokely, 2000, p. 9).
As an
example, consider the following tenet: "The interpreter shall never encourage deaf persons to seek legal or other decisions in their favor merely because the interpreter is sympathetic to the handicap of deafness"

(Cokely, 2000, p. 12).

, a new Code was adopted that demonstrated a
shift in our paradigm
as a field: interpreters are

working with a community of autonomous, capable individuals (Cokely, 2000). This shift aligns with the shifting perceptions of women and Deaf people that have been discussed. But, as you will see, it also
led to tensions
between the interpreting and Deaf Communities.

A trend that
began in the 1970’s
appears to have come to fruition in the
: “an irreversible
widening of the fissure
between interpreters/transliterators and the Community” (Cokely, 2005, p. 7). After RID’s grant (written by NAD) expired in 1972, the following events occurred (Cokely, 2005, pp. 7-8):

RID, once housed with NAD, moved headquarters to a separate location
RID did not renew the Deaf Executive Director’s contract
support staff who remained with RID were non-deaf

Additionally, as RID began
their own members, “the processes involved in weaning and vetting practitioners were removed
from the community
” (Cokely, 2005, p. 9). With the more common usage of manual systems of coded English as of 1972, RID’s certification exam was not able to adequately address the issues this created. “An increasing number of RID members were certified who were unable to sign using the language of the Community, but who could sign using
English-like signs
” (Cokely, 2005, p. 10).

A Disturbing Trend
With the
push for standardization
and desire to be recognized as professionals, RID began certifying interpreters. Below is a list of the
certifications developed
during the 1970's (Humphrey and Alcorn, 2007):
In 1988, RID adopted a
new certification exam
, the CI/CT, that
the use of an interview portion, a portion that once included a
of live raters, some of whom were
(Humphrey and Alcorn, 2007). This decision, again, reflects the
increasing "fissure"
between interpreters and the Deaf Community.

At their 1986 convention,
, clearly dissatisfied with RID's certification exam, began discussion of their
own exam
("A Brief Introduction", 1999)
Amy DeLorenzo, Nicole Harwood & Jessica Minges,

hanging Values, Civil Rights, Feminism, Professionalization, Disconnection


Situating interpreting within a broader historical framework offers us new insights into the profession and interpreter education. The 1970’s brought a continued focus on civil rights, while women continued to demand recognition in the public sphere. Not surprisingly, this decade saw the passage of several laws intended to extend civil rights to the D/deaf community. With the sexual revolution, texts that taught sexual and drug related signs became available. And the profession of interpreting, heavily female-dominated, was on the rise. However, in response to both the demeaning view of women as caretakers and deaf people as needing caretakers, the interpreting field began to reject the helper philosophy. We see this in the development of certification exams and training programs, the revision of the Code of Ethics, and the proliferation of publications that mainstreamed the notion of ASL linguistics. However, professionalization led to some unexpected negative outcomes.

As a backlash to the 1970’s, the 1980’s popularized the “yuppie,” a success-driven ideal which became increasingly evident in the field of interpreting. While the trend toward disconnection from the Deaf community began in the 1970’s with, among other things, the physical disconnect of RID from NAD, it reached fruition in the 1980’s through continued academization and professionalization of the field. The rising number of publications and training programs intended to assist with professionalizing and a new certification exam was also cause for concern: the hearing world was once again in charge. This growing concern culminated in the Deaf President Now protests of 1988.

Question to ponder:
There was a major shift in dynamics between Interpreters and the Deaf Community, as RID and NAD had differing goals. How did these dynamics, and the larger historical contexts, influence the Interpreting Profession and Interpreter Education?

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