Representation and diversity in the sign language translation and interpreting profession in the United Kingdom

Jemina Napier, Robert Skinner, Robert Adam, Christopher Stone, Sandra Pratt, Daniel P Hinton, Chijioke Obasi

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Abstract

This article reports the findings of a nationwide sign language translator and interpreter (SLTI) census to establish a baseline description of the United Kingdom’s SLTI workforce that was commissioned by the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK. Complete responses were received from 690 practitioners from across the United Kingdom (43% of the potential sample). The survey responses were analysed using the SPSS statistical software, specifically to look at various intersectional characteristics concerning gender, age, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. This article provides an overview of the findings with respect to two key themes: representation and diversity in the profession, along with discussion of the profile of the SLTI profession in the United Kingdom, and recommendations for actions for key stakeholder organisations. As a first snapshot, this census functions as a baseline for future comparisons, and can be modified and improved through open dialogue with professional and community groups. This snapshot helps us to identify gaps in representation. Finally, it can also inform the planning and forecasting of recruitment needs for the workforce and highlight any education and training needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-140
Number of pages22
JournalInterpreting and Society
Volume2
Issue number2
Early online date30 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed
as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Keywords

  • census survey
  • diversity
  • intersectionality
  • representation
  • sign language translation and interpreting

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