Accessing university education: perceptions, preferences, and expectations for interpreting by deaf students.

Jemina Napier*, Roz Barker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper provides a brief review of the history of deaf education in Australia, Australian Sign Language (Auslan), and Auslan interpreting. A panel of Australian deaf university students from diverse linguistic and educational backgrounds provides insights into their perceptions of sign language interpreting provision in university lectures. They commented on their interpreting preferences after viewing two videotaped segments of university lecture interpretation, one demonstrating a predominantly free approach and the other a predominantly literal approach. Expectations of the deaf students were explored in relation to the educational backgrounds and qualifications of university interpreters; comprehension of interpreters is also discussed. Results suggest that the university students preferred interpreters to combine both interpretation styles, switching between literal and free approaches when appropriate. In doing so, students can access lecture content in Auslan while accessing subject-specific terminology or academic language in English. In terms of qualifications, the students advocated for interpreters to have a university qualification in general, especially if they are working in a university context. However, the students also acknowledged that interpreting did not provide them with full access in educational settings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-238
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


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