This study investigates how and when hearing interpreters in the United States decide there is a need for a Deaf interpreter in court proceedings. Previous publications have strongly suggested that it is best practice to work with a Deaf interpreter for specific situations (NCIEC, 2007). In this study, the author utilized two frameworks: Brennan & Brown’s (1997) Equality before the Law, and Mathers’ (2009) Deaf interpreters in court: an accommodation that is more than reasonable, to design this study which brings to light the criteria used by hearing ASL-English interpreters when calling upon Deaf interpreters. This research also explores the hearing interpreter’s view of the Deaf interpreter and allows for discussion about the experience of working as the hearing member of a Deaf-hearing team in the courtroom. Findings suggest that hearing interpreters are generally in alignment with best practices for working with Deaf interpreter specialists, but significant inconsistencies and barriers remain. Further research into this configuration and its accompanying dynamics is needed.



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