Over eighty percent of all deaf children today are main streamed but very few teachers sign well eugh to be able to provide these students with full access in the classroom. As a result, it falls to sign language interpreters to offer the primary avenues of access for deaf and hard of hearing students. But despite the importance of their role, relatively little is kwn about the methodologies these interpreters employ on a daily basis. To fill this gap, Melissa B. Smith offers an in-depth analysis of K-12 interpreters at three schools. Her findings illuminate the critical functions in-school interpreters perform in response to three key areas of need: visual access, language and learning, and social and academic participation and inclusion.
Melissa B. Smith is professor in the American Sign Language/English Interpreter Training Program at Palomar College in San Marcos, California.