One of the key issues facing the Deaf community is equal communication access via interpreting services. The historical view of access to interpreting services stems from the late 1960s and was based on a social services/welfare or vocational rehabilitation approach. At the time, interpreters were largely seen as a service required solely by the Deaf person, and there was little awareness that interpreters were in fact serving both the Deaf person and the nondeaf consumer in any given interaction. The interpreter was frequently a family member or someone who acted as an interpreter but may have also played another role in the Deaf person’s life, for example, as teacher, social worker, or clergy member. In this social welfare model of service delivery, interpreters were ...

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