Readiness: SL 02

November 14, 2017

Scenario Transcript

Sean is a recent graduate from an Interpreter Education Program. The agency where he interned has offered him assignments several times since graduation, but he hasn’t felt ready. Finally, a job is offered that seems appropriate for him. Concerned that his continued refusal of work will reflect poorly on him, Sean contacts the agency’s head scheduler to find out more about the assignment, asking multiple questions. She responds by saying, “Oh, it isn’t any big deal. You’ll be fine. Your mentors have said you do good work.” Sean is torn but trusts that the scheduler knows the skill requirements and accepts the assignment. The job does not go well and at the end of the assignment, he has to interpret for the Deaf person telling the others present that the interpreter is not a good match and “clearly didn’t do his homework.”


  • If Sean came to you to debrief about this situation, how would you advise him?
  • What can Sean do, after-the fact, to restore his good name with the Deaf person at the assignment, the agency, etc.?
  • How do novice interpreters navigate this type of landscape?
  • What responsibility to schedulers/agencies have in terms of appropriate matching for assignments? How do sign language interpreting practitioners and those who utilize sign language interpreters hold agencies/schedulers accountable for mishaps such as the one described in the scenario?
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(New York)