Supporting Deaf Students in Undergraduate Research Experiences: Perspectives of American Sign Language Interpreters
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Type of Work5 pages
Citation of Original PublicationLaura E. Ott et al., Supporting Deaf Students in Undergraduate Research Experiences: Perspectives of American Sign Language Interpreters, Volume 21, Issue 1, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v21i1.1943
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Deaf undergraduates are eager to engage in research but often feel marginalized due to lack of appropriate accommodations to allow for effective communication within heterogeneous research teams consisting of hearing peers and/or mentors. In this case study, we interviewed four American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who provided full-time accommodations to teams consisting of one deaf student and two hearing peers during a six-week internship. We queried the interpreters on their role and experiences in supporting the research teams. Our findings indicate that the interpreters can be a valuable asset to heterogeneous teams by supporting both deaf and hearing individuals and advocating for the deaf student. That said, interpreters also had to overcome challenges unique to interpreting in the research environment, such as deciding when and how to interpret. The insights provided by the interpreters interviewed here are valuable as undergraduate research programs evaluate how to provide appropriate accommodations to deaf students engaged in research. In addition, they also highlight the need for research experience coordinators and mentors to consider supporting diverse teams in developing effective communication strategies and applying universal design for learning to the research environment.
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