About the PSI Project
The Preparing School Interpreters (PSI) Project (OSEP: H325K210024: 2021-2026) vision is to increase the quantity and quality of interpreters working in public school systems by investing in the academic and practical preparation of ASL-English interpreting students. In addition, the PSI Project will support their induction into the public school system through mentoring and communities of learning and practice, and the introduction to their work as school interpreters through guided professional development opportunities. The ultimate goal is for ASL-English interpreting students to function on and contribute to an interdisciplinary educational team that supports students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
To achieve this vision, the PSI Project embraces these values:
- Recognizes that interpreting in a school environment is a specialization built upon
the foundation of Witter-Merithew and Johnson's (2005) Entry-to-Practice Competencies,
outlined in the University of Northern Colorado’s (UNC) ASL-English Interpretation
(ASLEI) BA program.
- Recognizes that an interpreter in education works with and for everyone in the school
(Brimm, 2018; Fitzmaurice, 2018, Johnson et al., 2018), not just the deaf and hard
of hearing student(s) assigned for the academic year; as such the school interpreter
should be prepared to be a contributing member of the educational team.
- Recognizes that many school interpreters work without interaction with other interpreters
or knowledgeable oversight from an interpreter supervisor (Weirick, 2021; Johnson
et al., 2018); therefore, they require reflective analysis skills to support their
life-long learning and the services they provide in the school setting.
- Recognizes that the school interpreter is often the only individual in deaf and hard
of hearing students' lives who has direct, unmediated communication with them.
- Recognizes the interpreter’s responsibility is to accommodate the language needs of
the student who is deaf or hard of hearing, requiring fluency in the spectrum of signing,
from ASL to visual English.
- Supports interpreters in creating professional networks and relationships with other
school interpreters, as well as affiliating with the national interpreting community.
- Recognizes that diverse perspectives provide depth and balance to learning experiences
and one's personal growth.
- Believes a pathway to learning requires exploration and discovery via dialogic engagement with colleagues.
The PSI Project has five OSEP-approved objectives:
- Review and revise existing American Sign Language-English Interpretation (ASLEI) BA
curriculum and integrate units of learning with the necessary scope and sequence to
develop a new 15-credit interdisciplinary School Interpreting Series.
- Expand internship site agreements nationally to increase interdisciplinary collaborative
- Deliver campus-based and distance-delivered upper division coursework to include the
interdisciplinary School Interpreting Series to 27 OSEP Scholars.
- Design and implement an induction-mentorship experience to bridge Scholars’ transition
from academic studies to the educational workplace.
- Support professional activities for OSEP Scholars as they enter the field of interpreting.
These competencies are addressed across the 16-credit, six-course series and were updated as of January 2024.
SIS C1. Analyze educational laws, state regulations, and school protocols that influence U.S. public educational systems and structures, ultimately impacting deaf and hard of hearing students and the support provided by educational professionals. (Knowledge)
SIS C2. Integrate child and language development knowledge into the educational experiences and interactions of a diverse body of deaf and hard of hearing students across their academic years. (Knowledge, Skill, & Attitude)
SIS C3. Enact the roles and responsibilities of a school interpreter as a Related Service Provider guided by the educational plan that supports the deaf and hard of hearing student’s needs and under the guidance of assigned school personnel. (Knowledge & Skill)
SIS C4. Collaborate with educational professionals, respecting the collective contribution of the different roles and responsibilities in schools, serving the unique educational needs of each deaf and hard of hearing student. (Knowledge & Skill)
SIS C5. Enact interpreting and other related services guided by the educational system, framed by learning theories, and influenced by the practices of the educational team in support of each student’s access and interactions. (Knowledge & Skill)
SIS C6. Implement decision-making as a Related Service Provider that is based on educational, professional, and ethical frameworks. (Skill)
SIS C7. Advocate respectfully for working and learning environments that result in conditions that foster individual student success and empowerment. (Knowledge & Skill)
SIS C8. Explore one’s own positionality and intersectionality as an individual, Related Service Provider, and educational team member within the educational system and with diverse colleagues, the student body, and the families of deaf and hard of hearing students. (Attitude)
SIS C9. Cultivate an understanding of current educational issues that continually elevate the current practices, interactions, and contributions of a school interpreter as a Related Service Provider on the educational team and within the educational system. (Knowledge & Skill)
SIS C10. Participate in academic activities that lead to the post-graduation pursuit of professional credentials, professional development in education and interpreting, and supervision and accountability. (Knowledge, Skill, & Attitude)
The contents of the PSI Project website were developed under a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) personnel preparation project (H325K210024). The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
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