more interpreter issues...UGH!

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by coolgirlspyer90, Mar 18, 2011.

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  1. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    Okay so, I'm going to start off by what happened this week since i told you guys already about what happened with my interpreter and me previously in my other thread.

    This wednesday, In 6th period, I was in math. And I could not understand my teacher because she was talking so fast and so quiet. So i asked my interpreter to sign everything for me since she rarely signs everything in all of my 7 classes like shes suppose to do. Once i asked her that, she blows up in my face yelling at me in sign language saying: "I'm not interpreting for you since you aren't paying attention in class." In my mind i was thinking: "are you kidding me? I can't even understand the person". Just so you know I have paid attention to my teachers all the time. Then in 7th period, I had chemistry, and I bought a chocolate bar from my friend who was selling chocolates for a dollar to raise money for some fundraiser thing for her church. My interpreter goes: "you're eating too much chocolate" which basically is calling me fat. What i eat is none of her business. I went home bawling after school. I was not happy at all with my interpreter.

    So, when my mom came home, My mom confronted my interpreter on the phone asking her questions about everything i told my mom: how she isn't signing in all of my classes, her texting in class alot, the "im not interpreting" issue. She basically lied to my mom. She has said she only texts during my study hall period, which is NOT true at all. and then she says that she has interpret for me, but i wouldn't "pay attention" to her. Then she says something to my mom that she hopes i would get into trouble is that i "sleep" in class, which i never do because i need the information in class and i'm always afraid of falling asleep in class of being in trouble with the teacher and how i "use" my ipod during class without permission. I never use my ipod without permission unless my teachers says its okay to use. My mom defended me.

    So then yesterday, My friends, apparently heard about my interpreter yelling at me about how she wasn't going to be interpreting for me if i wasn't going to pay attention in class. When my interpreter heard that gossip, she told me in 5th period saying: "you need to stop gossiping about me, they 'like' me. Can we be mature here?" I replied sure, ok, fine, Blaming me for everything and i haven't even talked about it. She even lectured me about not using the FM system. I mean hello, my FM system isn't working. After the phone call from my mom, She looked MAD all day and did sloppy sign language. When she was signing (after my mom asked her about it on the phone) she signs then she drops her hands down to her lap, having an attitude that a normal teenager would have with their parents after a stupid fight. After school yesterday, i basically cried again because she made me feel so bad. And i was stressing out too because I had 3 OGT (ohio graduation test) to pass and i had an upcoming regional for drumline this weekend as well. And i knew at that moment this needs to be solved, NOW. I did not want to deal with her next year at all.

    My interpreter wasn't at school today. But i went to the head Special education person who was my interpreter's boss and complain to her about my interpreter about how she isn't doing her job. She says that she goes to my teachers every year to get a report of what my interpreter is doing. All of my teachers have told her that i have not been paying attention to my interpreter at all, which is NOT true. That made me mad. Because the teachers were kind of defending her. When i talked to the special education specialist, she sounded like she wasn't going to be doing anything at all. She says she will "talk" to my interpreter on Monday when she gets back. But i'm afraid that this isn't going to go anywhere. I said that it is my right as a deaf person to be treated equally, she goes: "well watching your interpreter can be treated equally." and this, to me, felt like this is going NOWHERE. My parents are going to be discussing on what to do with this situation. They are planning on calling the school, but if the school system is not going to be doing anything, then my parents are going to MAYBE do a lawsuit against the school. Probably getting a disability lawyer or an IEP lawyer because they aren't really following my IEP.

    So, I come to all deaf for advice. I might not be able to check in the morning because I have other stuff to do before I leave for tennessee for the drumline regional (i'm getting up at 5:30 in the morning.) But ill try and check back on monday IF i can. But please, try and think of ways that this could help me. I'm basically miserable right now. If you don't really understand what i'm talking about in this thread, check out my other thread that talks about my interpreter that i've been having problems with (the same one) :: http://www.alldeaf.com/captioning-s...er/65691-ughhh-interpreter-issues-school.html
     
  2. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Of course you should pay attention as much as possible. However, it's not up to the interpreter to judge. If your teacher feels that you aren't paying attention, then your teacher should get your attention, or ask you about it. It's not the interpreter's job.

    For example, I interpret for college students. Sometimes they pay attention, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they text, work on their papers, take naps, whatever. Do I say anything? No. I keep signing just as though they are paying full attention. It's my job to send out the message; it's the student's job to receive it. (I've also noticed that even when the student isn't staring at me, it doesn't necessarily mean the student isn't paying attention; some students get a lot thru peripheral observation.)

    The interpreter gets paid to interpret, whether anyone pays attention or not. She's "on the clock" and should be working.

    All I can say is, unbelievable. She was really out of line. (BTW, I buy those chocolate bars from fund raisers, and I think they're yummy!)

    I'm afraid a lot of this struggle will be a "student said, terp said" situation.

    Are there are any other deaf students for whom she interprets at your school?

    How old is she? She doesn't seem mature or professional.

    I hate to say this but it's possible that she became a school interpreter because she couldn't deal with adult deaf clients who wouldn't take her guff.

    I'm sorry that you're being stressed now. When you're taking your tests and performing on the drumline you definitely don't want any extra stress.

    :hmm: That's a lot to think about.
     
  3. Bebonang

    Bebonang Active Member

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    I am wondering if the interpreter might not know about Deaf Culture at all like she did not study about it. She only learned about interpreting courses so where did she get the courses from if not in college. She needs to know and understand about deaf people and their culture. The interpreter is very rude to her and to have to talk out loud in front of the teacher and the classroom. She does not seem to appreciate her job as an interpreter. That is what puzzle me. :hmm: No interpreter should not bring that drama out in front of the classroom like that. If she does not want to be an interpreter, then don't go through like this.

    My sister and I thought it would be wonderful if my son can become an interpreter but my son does not want to be one so we left him alone. So now I understand the pressure if being force to become an interpreter if she or he don't want to become one. :dunno: Just my guess.

    Anyway, you, your Mom (Dad included), Head Interpreter, your teacher and the rude interpreter have a meeting session in the principal's office to discuss about why this interpreter is making a big fuss and molehill over your behavior or her behavior. That might be the solution to solve the problem why her behavior is way out of line. I do hope that would help your situation to be solve on. :(
     
  4. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    College level ASL courses and interpreter training programs are supposed to include instruction on Deaf history and culture. Interpreter training includes instruction on ethical and professional behavior. That bad school interpreter has no excuse for her behavior.
     
  5. marcyp06

    marcyp06 Member

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    Yeah, but unfortunatley not all terps have been through college ASL courses. Around here as long as you have two years of college or can pass the TABE (test of adult education), and have rudimentary sign skills, you can get a job with the school district.
     
  6. Miss-Delectable

    Miss-Delectable New Member

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    All I can say is document everything she said or did and put date and time as well.

    So it'll make your complaint more legitimate.

    I only can say hang in there and fight to be heard.
     
  7. Speedy Hawk

    Speedy Hawk New Member

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    I feel bad for you having to cope with that interpreter. I agree with Miss-Delectable, keep record of everything your interpreter did that she not suppose to. They will take you more seriously that way. Date, Time, Class and what did your interpreter do wrong. You can do this at break time if you remember, don't worry about getting time right, just put in correct hour.
     
  8. Arbayong

    Arbayong New Member

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    Its very unfortunate to find yourself under such circumstances. If this can happen in the US, am wondering what will happen when we start using interpreters in Ghana or other African countries. the first sign language interpretion course is yet to begin in this country. so deaf and hoh have to mainstream on their own since we do not have captioning services.
    i hope your interpreters changes her attitude.
     
  9. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    my interpreter is 29 years old. I had her since the 6th grade (middle school) up to my junior year (current year). There is no other deaf student in the school but me. There is a girl with 2 bahas but she doesn't know ASL, shes very oral. I have been keeping documents on when she is late to my classes, when she leaves, what she isn't suppose to be doing in class, etc. I talked to the principal yesterday, and my dad also showed up to school expectantly on monday talking to my principal about it as well. my principal said that we are going to have a meeting about it on the following wednesday. I'm really nervous about this meeting because i don't know how my interpreter is going to react. I feel like i can't tell her what shes suppose to be doing because i'm still a minor, and i feel intimidated by her as well.

    Also, another problem came up as well; I wanted to get a new interpreter really bad because i don't like the way that shes doing her job as an interpreter, the special education supervisor said that she has a signed contract. Meaning, that she really can't get fired. I don't know how long her social contract is suppose to last. I don't know if it is as an aid or as an interpreter. When i talked to the supervisor before i came to my prinicpal; i told her that it is my right as a deaf person to be treated equally, and she replies saying that i would be treated equally if i was paying attention in class. in my mind i'm like.. "thats not fair." beacuse i have been paying attention.

    Also, the supervisor said that my interpreter has been signing, But from my perspective she signs to me and tells me about her personal life, not the things that shes suppose to be signing in class. She would sign incomplete signings in the class lesson. For example, we were talking about comparing a substance to another substance in chemistry, she would sign "compare" and thats it, she would plop her hands down on her lap, looking all mad and not enjoying this. My parents are coming to the meeting with me on wednesday as well. My dad said that if my interpreter and the supervisor gives me or my parents any attitude, my dad will not be nice. He thought about getting a disability lawyer or an IEP lawyer, but idk. I'm just really, really nervous about this meeting after all the drama. I just don't like being involved with it. Especially when it comes to my education and not getting the help i need.
     
  10. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    Well, before all this stupid drama happened, she told me the reason why she learned sign language was because she had a friend in middle school whose parents were deaf, and she decided to learn how to sign and from there on out, she became an interpreter. She went to Sinclair Community College to become an interpreter. And she is still in college (and shes 29..) trying to get her bachelors degree, wanting to become a history teacher. And from my thoughts if shes treating me like this, there's no way shes going to have that much patience teaching a class. But ever since my mom confronted her on the phone, she has been acting really mad and rude and when she walks in the hallways; she acts like shes a badass girl and in my thoughts i'm thinking: "and you tell me that i'm not mature..wow"
     
  11. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    A person who signs a contract must fulfill her part of the contract or else it can be made void. If the interpreter's contract requires her to perform in a professional, qualified manner, and she doesn't do that, then her contract can be cancelled.

    A normal legal contract can't say that no matter how badly you perform you can't be fired.

    If the school says that they absolutely can't fire the terp, then tell them they need to hire an additional terp for you, one that can do the job properly.

    No terp is perfect but they should all be ethical and professional.
     
  12. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    I second what Reba is saying. Your interpreter is bound by certain rules and regulations. Interpreting what's going in in your surroundings (be it academic or social) is her primary responsibility. If she's acting unprofessional, and interpreting only segments of the curriculum she is not holding true to her basic responsibility. You, being an individual who uses ASL as their primary mode of communication are certainly more in the position of making appropriate judgement calls as to the kind of access she's really giving you.

    This boils down to accessibility and professionalism. Based on the lack of accessibility alone is enough grounds for you to request and receive a new interpreter. The contract is void if one party doesn't live up to their end of the bargain.

    You and your parents need to stand strong. You need to be firm in knowing that it's your right to access the curriculum and social settings. It is not the interpreters right to interject their personal beliefs during your school day.

    If the school doesn't agree to hire a new interpreter, you and your parents need to file a compliance complaint in your state.

    Good luck. I hope the SD stops messing around and takes this situation seriously.
     
  13. jazzy

    jazzy New Member

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    She should be fired. I dont agree what she did in classrooms. I had my terp all through middle and high schools, I sometime day dream and she kept interp no matter what. I can not believe she refused to sign to you. Feel alike she is stealing taxpayer for not doing anything.
     
  14. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    That's right. It's the interpreter's job to interpret. It's the teacher's job to discipline the students.

    When I'm being paid to interpret, I interpret, even if the client falls asleep or reads a book. I'm "on the clock" during that time, so I have no complaints about signing everything.
     
  15. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    Well i documented everything today, and for the past few days as well. My interpreter yelled at me again. My study hall teacher wanted to know where my interp was. She was late to all of my classes, as usual. When she finally arrived, my teacher either said where she was or that i needed her for something which i didn't. so my interpreter came and she said; "what do you need?" I was playing on my ipod, and i looked up and i said nothing. and then she goes; "ok well you better be careful of what you say around people because i don't want them thinking that i'm unprofessional." wow. my thoughts were: "really..?"

    School begins at 7:50AM (thats when i am in advisory) and my first class starts at 8:15 (there's a 5 minute in between to get to classes), school ends at 2:50 pm. My interpreter leaves around 2:35-2:40pm. my last class of the day is chemistry. So whenever my interpreter leaves, i miss out on info. And i end up having to ask my friends what he say because i don't understand him talking quite all the time even with 2 CIs. But my interpreter leaves, and arrives late to all my classes a lot. she texts on the phone, eats in class, complains, and incomplete interpreting. I swear, i don't want to work with her anymore. I really want a new interpreter, badly, because i don't know how much of her unprofessional as an interpreter and the way she treats me, i can take. Because I'm pretty much miserable right now, the only thing i'm looking forward to is lunch, and after school when I'm with my friends because they know how to cheer me up after all the stupid crap i had to go through with my interpreter. My dad now officially calls her as a bully, because she's treating me like one. and I'm still a minor too.
     
  16. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Why does she leave early?


    Why does she arrive late? The only reason I might be late is if I had to stop at the restroom between classes, and that wouldn't be very long. I definitely wouldn't be late for the first class of the day.

    I never eat during assignments, even when everyone else is eating. (Is eating allowed in your classrooms?) I bring a water bottle with me, where it's allowed. I text only when I'm on "down" time.

    What is she complaining about, and to whom?

    I read about your so-called interpreter, and I just :jaw: .
     
  17. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    Just because you are a minor doesn't mean you should be treated differently. You deserve the same respect as any other person.

    Just an idea... Have you considered informing the school district that you cannot come back until they have a new terp? You, as well ad your parents should write a letter laying everything out.

    You are 16, right? You are old enough to advocate for yourself, with your parents right there with you. Forget about this, "I'm a minor." You are an individual who has the legal right to access the curriculum.

    Did your teacher who observed the interpreter coming late document it as well? You might want to write it on a seperate piece of paper, and have this teacher sign off that he/she witnessed it to.

    I really think if you tell the school you cannot attend until they hire in a new person, they will take you seriously.

    Don't stand by and let this continue. Stand up for yourself and stand up for your rights.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I highly suggest filing a compliance complaint.
     
  18. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    When its at the end of the day, she wants to leave early due to student traffic which doesn't clear up until almost about 3:30. And the reason why she arrives late all the time is because shes talking to my teachers, getting coffee, and who knows what else she does. Yes we are allowed to eat in class. Only if the teacher allows us to eat in class. its their room, so they get to decide if its okay or not. She's complaining alot about her wedding (which is coming up pretty soon), her dogs, the teachers how they're "rude" to her, her computer, her online classes, the students who were "mean" to her, and sometimes about me as well.
     
  19. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    Keep your head up, and find the strength within to fight this.
     
  20. coolgirlspyer90

    coolgirlspyer90 Active Member

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    I'm 17. I don't turn 18 until august. But I talked to the special education supervisor, and she says that she gets reports from my teachers every year about my interpreter saying that she has been signing everything. But from my perspective, she doesn't sign the things that the teacher are talking about for the lesson of the day in the classroom. She's signing to me about her personal life, her complaints, etc. She will only sign the lesson if something important came up like a test will be this week or a fact about the topic that i need to know. but thats it. I have told them that i want a new interpreter, but all they said is that they can't fire her because shes under a signed contract with the school. I don't know how long her contract will work before it expires. I'm not sure what kind of contract it is, I'm not sure if its an Aid or an interpreter contract. One of my good friends whose working as an Aid at my school (and has subinterpret for me before) told me that an aid contract works for about a year until they have to sign for another one.

    I think they know that i am being serious about it, i think they're just giving me the cold shoulder.
     
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