Court Interpreting Induction Program

As of September 2016, the MARIE Center's website is no longer maintained.


Court Interpreting Induction Program (no longer offered)

Program Description

This program is no longer offered.

The NCIEC Court Interpreting Induction Program provided supervised work experience to selected certified ASL-English interpreters for the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of practitioners specializing in court interpreting. The program facilitated certified practitioners in gaining direct courtroom interpreting experience through the provison of supervised work experience which 1) increased their practical experience, 2) provided opportunities to reflect on their performance with experienced SC:L practitioners, and 3) improved their confidence in applying the skills, knowledge and attributes associated with working in court settings.

Supervision was an essential part of this program because of the high-risk nature of court interpreting. Courts have procedures in place that ensure that linguistic access for Deaf individuals is achieved. For this reason, the induction sites were selected because of their ability to offer direct courtroom experience coupled with supervision by experienced SC:L interpreters with long-standing relationships within the courts. Those individuals, who functioned as Induction Supervisors, paved the way for program participants to gain field-based experience, while also working to protect the interests of consumers and the judiciary.

How did the program work?

The NCIEC, through the UNC-MARIE Center, partnered with state Administrative Offices of the Court and/or agencies contracted to provide interpreting services to courts and created induction sites in various locations around the United States.  As part of the partnership, the induction sites provided the supervision while the NCIEC provided the program management.

Selected applicants were matched with a specific induction site and supervisor—typcially, in a location within the NCIEC region in which they resided. The induction period was 50-55 hours.  How long it took for the accepted participant to complete these hours depended on several factors—primarily the degree of flexibility the selected practitioner had in being scheduled, and the demand for interpreting services at any given time within the induction site. It was estimated that it took an average of 10-12 weeks for the hours to be accrued.  When possible, more condensed opportunities was explored and implemented.

After the match of a selected practitioner and induction site/supervisor had occured, an agreement was signed that specified the procedures and responsibilities of each party involved in the process. Once that agreement was in place, the induction supervisor began working with the selected practitioner to arrange the assignments. The induction supervisor, or their designated representative (who must be a certified SC:L interpreter), accompanied the selected practitioner to all of their assignments. Assignments involved the practitioner interpreting a proceeding alone, with a team interpreter (which can include a CDI interpreter for non-Deaf interpreters), or in collaboration with the supervisor. To a limited degree, observing the work of more experienced court interpreters was permitted.

The supervisor completed an observation form for each assignment. This form served as the foundation for review and discussion about the interpreting performance. The supervisor and practitioner periodically discussed the interpreting performance and suggestions for how to improve the performance were offered. The practitioner worked to incorporate the feedback in their future assignments and in this fashion that increased their competence interpreting within the courtroom.

Where were the induction sites located?

The induction sites were with the Kentucky Administrative Offices of the Courts, the New Jersey Administrative Offices of the Courts, the Maricopa County Courts, the Denver City Courts and the Colorado Administrative Offices of the Courts through the Colorado Commission of the Deaf, and courts in Maryland, DC and Virginia through TCS Associates, among a few other sites. 

How many people were accepted into the program?

For the period of November 1, 2015-September 1, 2016, about 15 individuals were accepted into the program.  The intention was to have 2-3 individuals from each of the NCIEC five regions inducted. 

Some of the individuals inducted were individuals who were already enrolled in mentorship and/or SC:L preparation programs being supported by the induction sites, but who had not yet completed the induction process. Priority was given to facilitating the pool of individuals working directly with specific courts first. Other individuals were selected from the pool of practitioners who apply directly to the program.