Sign Language – Unqualified intepreting

Problems with unqualified interpreters

As a reporter, I have seen disasters much worse than the Mandela debacle when unqualified interpreters are used or interpreters are not called in when needed:

  • People end up in the hospital emergency room but have no idea what is wrong with them, or what tests or treatment were coming up because they do not have an interpreter
  • The deaf do not understand a doctor’s diagnosis or how to take their medication properly because of poor or no interpreting
  • Innocent deaf people end up in jail –for example, a deaf woman who is beaten by her hearing husband calls the police. She is so distraught that police don’t understand her. The police believe the hearing husband’s lies and she is arrested
  • A deaf youth is walking or running down the street. Suspicious, the police yell at them to stop. When the deaf person does not obey, the police shoot him
  • A student receives the interpreters view of what lecturers are saying and not the correct academic information 11092015

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