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Title: Justisigns: Future Proofing access to Justice for deaf sign language users
Authors: Napier, Jemina
Skinner, Robert
Leeson, Loraine
Lynch, Theresa
Haug, Tobias
Salaets, Heidi
Vermeerbergen, Myriam
Sheikh, Haaris
Turner, Graham
Katschinka, Lise
Calles, Lourdes
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2016
Publisher: Heriot Watt University & Critical Link International
Conference: Critical Link: Critical LinkS/a new generation - Future-proofing interpreting and translating edition:8 location:Edinbourgh, UK date:29 June - 1 July 2016
Article number: TH 3.4
Abstract: There is a growing body of literature that examines sign language interpreting provisions and practices in legal contexts in various countries (e.g., Brennan & Brown, 1997; McCay & Miller, 2005; Miller, 2001; Napier, 2011, 2012, 2013; Roberson, Russell & Shaw, 2011; Russell, 2002; Turner, 1995; Turner & Brown, 2001). The common theme in the results of all these studies is the limitations faced by deaf sign language users in gaining access to justice, either through inadequate interpreting provision, poor quality interpreting services, or lack of training, accreditation and standards for legal signed language interpreters and translators.
The Justisigns project (2013-2016) conducted by a consortium of hearing and deaf researchers and signed language interpreter practitioners represents a ground-breaking initiative focussing on providing qualified and qualifying sign language interpreters new competencies in interpreting within a legal setting. The remit of the project was to develop training courses to be made available to sign language interpreters, legal professionals and deaf sign language users in Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK. In addition the project developed: a European guide for interpreters practicing in legal settings; a European guide for legal professionals working with Deaf communities and signed language interpreters to improve their communication skills; an information tool-kit for Deaf people in the national sign language to better understand the legal framework in each country; European outreach seminars and awareness sessions; project information leaflets; training posters with practical legal/sign language/Deaf culture & communication tips; and case studies of best practice and experiences from Deaf users.
This mixed-methods study involved surveying deaf people, interpreters and legal professionals through questionnaires, focus groups and interviews, as well as conducting a qualitative linguistic case study analyses of signed language interpreter-mediated legal communication, with a view to informing the development of the training courses and other deliverables in the project.
This presentation will provide an overview of the data that was collected, and some of the challenges reported by deaf people, interpreters and police officers in ensuring that police interviews go smoothly. We will make recommendations to ensure best practice in sign language interpreting provision in police settings in Europe, and a summary of the training materials developed, which will go some way towards future proofing legal sign language interpreting standards and access to justice for deaf sign language users.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Interpreting Studies, Campus Sint-Andries Antwerp
Translation Studies Research Unit - miscellaneous
Multimodality, Interaction and Discourse, Campus Sint-Andries Antwerp
Linguistics Research Unit - miscellaneous

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