Interpreting with DeafBlind People in Michigan

Mitch Holaly, St. Catherine University


Through an electronic survey and individual ethnographic interviews, this sociological study examines trends between qualified interpreters in Michigan who do and do not work with DeafBlind people. In addition, DeafBlind Michiganders were interviewed in order to provide crucial insight into the current status of interpreting service provision. Results cover demographic trends, motivations and barriers of interpreters, gaps in skills/knowledge, the supply and demand of interpreters, as well as physical and mental demands of the work. The impact of the unique Michigan regulatory condition, known as the DeafBlind endorsement, is discussed as a potential barrier. Findings can then be used in policy making, training development, and recruitment of interpreters to work with DeafBlind people.