Defying the Status Quo: Examining our Aging Ethics
Bill RossCentury I
Each sign language interpreter has a role and accompanying responsibilities that are all encompassing; linguistic, logistic, behavioral and relational (to name a few). Every decision we make is loaded with ethical implications that can impact the life and liberty of members of the Deaf community. But, have you ever stopped to consider WHY you make the decisions you do? We are clearly influenced by multiple factors, some of which are, the laws of the legal system, the Code of Professional Conduct, and individual workplace policies and procedures. However, this workshop proposes, the historic values of our profession hold sway over our belief system and subsequently our behavior. The antiquated values of neutrality, invisibility, secrecy and the overemphasis on role continue to influence practitioners, both new and old alike. It is vital that we understand the depth of these rooted values and our profession’s drive to maintain the status quo. Together, we will examine and discuss why we lean in one “ethical direction” instead of another and its impact on community trust. Consideration will be given to relational autonomy and the conditions that foster transparent decision-making by interpreters and the other individuals involved in the interpreting process.