As the IRIS Project has been administrating the five-year interpreter training grant, they have compiled various resources that relate to increasing the quantity and quality of interpreters working and living in rural settings.
These are the resources the IRIS Project has found to date about rural sign language interpreting in the United States.
Should you know of additional publications, email email@example.com so that we may add them to this collection.
ASL Summary by the IRIS Project:
Publication Abstract: Rural sign language interpreters often experience unique challenges, gaps, and opportunities in interpreter training compared to their urban peers. The paper examined the results of a needs assessment survey disseminated by the Improving Rural Interpreter Skills (IRIS) Project to identify stakeholders’ perceptions of the challenges, gaps, and opportunities in rural interpreting. The 20-question survey was distributed by email to 279 rural interpreting stakeholders across the United States, of which 71 responded. Stakeholders’ responses indicated significant challenges including systemic barriers to technology, living wages, and job security; gaps in formal training opportunities and limited exposure to diverse language models, peers, and mentors; and opportunities to increase professional networking and bring workshops and classes to rural interpreters in their local communities, both in person and remotely. The implications of this research were used in the design and delivery of IRIS Project’s rural interpreter training, and stakeholders’ perceived opportunities were integrated into the fabric of IRIS programming. Further, it will inform future research on approaches to improve the quality of and access to rural interpreter training.
Rural Deaf Community
IRIS Rural Deaf Community Panel (2022)
Description: In June 2022 the IRIS Project hosted the Rural Deaf Community Panel facilitated by Dr. Naomi Sheneman, CDI. The panelists were five Deaf and DeafBlind individuals who lived in rural communities. Panelists were asked a series of questions to get their perspectives on rural interpreting services and access issues. The goal of hosting this panel was to create an educational resource specifically focused on the experiences of rural Deaf and DeafBlind communities in the United States.
IRIS Rural Interpreter Panel (2023)
Description: In April 2023 The IRIS Project hosted the Rural Interpreter Panel facilitated by Dr. Naomi Sheneman, CDI. This facilitated panel discussion included four rural interpreters who have a wide variety of experiences working in community-based settings across the United States. The primary topic of discussion reflected upon each of the interpreter’s “why.” Why did they begin in this field in the first place and why do they continue to do this work? The goal of this panel was twofold: (1) to create an educational resource specifically focused on the experiences of rural interpreters and (2) to unpack benevolence and its unintended consequences.
Working Interpreters in Rural Communities RID Town Hall (2022)
Description: In March 2022 the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) hosted a town hall for its members, with a panel discussion and open Q&A. The panel was composed of four rural interpreters across the United States and moderated by Cheryl Thomas, NAD V, CI, CT, NIC Master, SC:L & BEI Court. The IRIS Project was represented by a panelist, involved in the development of its content, and provided event support and coordination. This is a public recording of that session.
The curriculum guide will be added once it is ready for dissemination.