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About the PSI Project

Vision " "

The Preparing School Interpreters (PSI) Project (OSEP: H325K210024: 2021-2026) vision is to increase the quantity and quality of interpreters working in public school systems by investing in the academic and practical preparation of ASL-English interpreting students. In addition, the PSI Project will support their induction into the public school system through mentoring and communities of learning and practice, and the introduction to their work as school interpreters through guided professional development opportunities. The ultimate goal is for ASL-English interpreting students to function on and contribute to an interdisciplinary educational team that supports students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Values " "

To achieve this vision, the PSI Project embraces these values:

  • Recognizes that interpreting in a school environment is a specialization built upon the foundation of Witter-Merithew and Johnson's (2005) Entry-to-Practice Competencies, outlined in the University of Northern Colorado’s (UNC) ASL-English Interpretation (ASLEI) BA program.

  • Recognizes that an interpreter in education works with and for everyone in the school (Brimm, 2018; Fitzmaurice, 2018, Johnson et al., 2018), not just the deaf and hard of hearing student(s) assigned for the academic year; as such the school interpreter should be prepared to be a contributing member of the educational team.

  • Recognizes that many school interpreters work without interaction with other interpreters or knowledgeable oversight from an interpreter supervisor (Weirick, 2021; Johnson et al., 2018); therefore, they require reflective analysis skills to support their life-long learning and the services they provide in the school setting.

  • Recognizes that the school interpreter is often the only individual in deaf and hard of hearing students' lives who has direct, unmediated communication with them.

  • Recognizes the interpreter’s responsibility is to accommodate the language needs of the student who is deaf or hard of hearing, requiring fluency in the spectrum of signing, from ASL to visual English.

  • Supports interpreters in creating professional networks and relationships with other school interpreters, as well as affiliating with the national interpreting community.

  • Recognizes that diverse perspectives provide depth and balance to learning experiences and one's personal growth.

  • Believes a pathway to learning requires exploration and discovery via dialogic engagement with colleagues.

Objectives " "

The PSI Project has five OSEP-approved objectives:

  1. Review and revise existing American Sign Language-English Interpretation (ASLEI) BA curriculum and integrate units of learning with the necessary scope and sequence to develop a new 15-credit interdisciplinary School Interpreting Series.

  2. Expand internship site agreements nationally to increase interdisciplinary collaborative opportunities.

  3. Deliver campus-based and distance-delivered upper division coursework to include the interdisciplinary School Interpreting Series to 27 OSEP Scholars.

  4. Design and implement an induction-mentorship experience to bridge Scholars’ transition from academic studies to the educational workplace.

  5. Support professional activities for OSEP Scholars as they enter the field of interpreting.

School Interpreting Series Competencies

These competencies are addressed across the 15-credit, five-course series:

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1. Recognize how the history of U.S. public educational systems and structures, including educational laws, state regulations, and school protocols, impacts deaf and hard of hearing students. (Knowledge)

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2. Demonstrate the ability to respectfully collaborate in public schools with the educational team in relationship to the role, responsibilities, and contributions of each member of the team. (Knowledge and Skill)

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3. Identify aspects of child development, including cognitive, linguistic, psychosocial, and additional disabilities, which may have an impact on students and their educational and interpreted experiences. (Knowledge and Attitude)

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4. Recognize implemented educational theories and practices and appropriately manage interpreting services in a manner that aligns with the educational team member's efforts and ultimately supports the students. (Knowledge and Skill)

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5. Recognize the fluidity of current issues in education and how they intersect with the role, responsibilities, and contributions of each member of the educational team. (Knowledge and Skill)

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6. Manage interpreting services and professional behavior based on ethical decision-making that includes knowledge of the educational system, guidelines and codes from the field of interpreting, educational team members’ roles and responsibilities, and student(s) needs. (Skill)

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7. Recognize one’s own biases and the potential impacts on the integrity and quality of the interpreting services and on the relationships with other members of the educational team, including students and their families. (Knowledge and Attitude)

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8. Implement appropriate school-identified roles and responsibilities, in addition to interpreting, based on specific student needs, under the guidance of assigned school personnel. (Knowledge and Skill)

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9. Advocate respectfully for working and learning environments that result in conditions that foster student success and empowerment. (Knowledge and Skill)

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10. Commit to continued professional development across a range of knowledge and skills sets applied in public schools that moves current practices to higher degrees of competence. (Knowledge, Skill, and Attitude)

Grant Recognition

The contents of the PSI Project website were developed under a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) personnel preparation project (H325K210024). The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

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