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Educational Interpreting Code of Ethics

by Amy Frasu, MA, CI/CT, NIC Advanced, BEI Advanced

There is a common misconception that due to a Deaf student's young age and impressionability, educational interpreters should become mentors for Deaf students. However, the age of the consumer does not merit an interpreter the obligation to interfere. Students need and deserve guidance from a variety of peers, teachers, and counselors.

The appropriate role of the interpreter is to interpret effectively, not to act as a moral compass. Although the current RID-NAD Code of Professional Conduct may seem limiting, these limitations are necessary to guide interpreters and consumers to make better ethical decisions about the interpreter's role. The Code of Professional Conduct (2005) applies to all interpreters at all times, regardless of the consumers' ages.

It will negatively impact the Deaf student's educational experience if an interpreter is expected to perform duties unrelated to interpreting, such as:
  • tutoring (at any time and under any circumstances)
  • reporting to staff members about the Deaf student's academic and/or social progress
  • supervising students (lunch duty, bus duty)
  • disciplining or counseling students
  • clerical work, errands, and copying

As a member of the educational team, it is essential that the interpreter follow the RID-NAD Code of Professional Conduct as a common sense guide. Staff and students will reap long-term benefits from an interpreter's professionalism and commitment to the Code of Professional Conduct.

For more information about this topic, please read the following resources:

Citation of this Document:
Frasu, Amy. "Educational Interpreting Code of Ethics Statement." http://www.DeafLinx.com
This article was written by Amy Frasu. It is intended to be an informational guide. Click here for information about guidelines to copy or distribute this information. Direct quotes may be used if proper citation is given. Amy Frasu (MA, CI/CT, NIC Advanced, BEI Advanced) earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Deaf Education and Elementary Education from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and graduated with honors from Gallaudet University with her Master of Arts degree in Interpretation. Amy has worked as a community interpreter in Texas, Washington DC, Florida, and California.

As an ASL-English interpreter since 1994, Amy has worked in a variety of settings, including medical appointments, business meetings, conferences, video relay service, theater, k-12 schools, undergraduate courses, and graduate courses. She also mentors interpreters, provides diagnostic assessments, and is an interpreter at the San Antonio College in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Training.