Condemned to repetition? An analysis of problem-setting and problem-solving in sign language interpreting ethics

Robyn K Dean


A profession learns from the mistakes of the past and it is these historical lessons that will undoubtedly influence its current ethical frame. However, in order to remain relevant, the ethical frame must avail itself to current practice issues, not just protection against the misdeeds of the past. This review follows a similar analysis proposed by Hill (2004) in the field of counselling and considers the ethical content material presented to sign language interpreting students in the U.S. This study analyses examples of ethical content material in the sign language interpreting profession to determine what is the past and present ethical discourse offered by the profession’s exemplars. It is concluded that ethical content material available to students and practitioners appears to remain imbedded in the concerns of the past, at the minimal standards of ethical practice, and therefore, may not be sufficiently addressing broader concerns for the development of effective (and ethical) practice skills of sign language interpreters today.

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