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Abstract

Sign language interpreters who begin work soon after graduating from post-secondary programs, either associate-level training programs or bachelor-level interpreter education programs are vulnerable to unique challenges for which they may be inadequately prepared, especially if they work as community interpreters in specialized settings. This descriptive study represents the initial attempt to understand how graduates determine personal readiness and identifies contributors to preparedness for working in specialized settings. The sample of recent program graduates provided a snapshot of how prepared interpreters felt in their first years following graduation regarding competency in Legal, Healthcare, Mental Health, Educational, and Deaf-Blind situations. This study highlights specializations in which interpreting graduates feel most and least prepared to work and informs us about the types of instruction or experience that most contributed to their readiness. The results revealed to what extent participants perceived their interpreter education programs prepared them for specialized settings.

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