This qualitative study addressed the concern of video relay service (VRS) interpreters experiencing stress, which can lead to burnout. In contrast to the relatively long history of VRS in the United States, the Canadian Deaf community gained access to VRS services only in 2016. Yet to date, there has been no Canadian research on the work environment of VRS sign language interpreters. For this study, Canadian interpreters were interviewed about their experiences working in a VRS setting and the associated stressors. The interviewed interpreters also had potential strategies and solutions to manage their stress effectively.

The goal of this pilot study was to capture the experiences of Canadian interpreters as they navigated working in VRS environments. The results may help promote awareness amongst current and future interpreters working in VRS settings while inviting the exploration of potential solutions to address the stress. Additionally, the study results hold relevance for Canadian interpreter education programs that strive to constantly update their curricula to ensure appropriate knowledge and skills among program graduates.



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