Professional development: Getting over the hump!

David Bar-Tzur

Created 2/21/2000, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

Sisyphus pushing a stone up the mountain and it rolling down again

CDs, DVDs, and videotapes
Deaf events
Mailing lists, user groups & chat rooms
Online teaching and learning
Outside assessment and certification
Periodicals and articles
Web sites
Workshops and conferences

Meeting the people People.

Consult with Deaf people who are good language models in general and especially with those knowledgeable in fields you need to interpret about. Discuss content knowledge, vocabulary, Deaf culture, Deaf History, Deaf-Hearing interaction, feedback, debrief on troublesome issues (make sure the two of you are close and don't disclose confidential information), and problem solving (real and contrived). For ideas on how to acquaint yourself with Deaf people, see Getting acquainted [with Deaf people] and Deaf Linx - Meet the Deaf community.
Network with knowledgeable interpreters and those who specialize in something you need professional development in. Discuss problem solving, debrief on troublesome issues (don't break confidentiality), and affirm others (if you mean it, be specific).
Meet with hearing people (who may know nothing about Deafness) to gain content knowledge in English concerning topics you interpret about, both those you will work with soon and those who can help you be ready for the future. They can also be helpful in problem solving (actual or contrived).

James Womack, who is a Deaf person actively involved in the education of interpreters, has given me permission to quote from an excellent response he gave on TERPS-L (3/23/2001) to an interpreter who said it would be nice if there were a "Deafland" that interpreters could go to in order to interact with Deaf people and improve their awareness of ASL and Deaf culture. Here it is in full: