"TerpTopics(TM)" "Interpreter Topics Rendered Faithfully (TM)"

Original, relevant, and timely content of interest to ASL and sign language interpreting students and practitioners, including introductory information about deafness and American Deaf Culture.

Topics

WELCOME

 + About Us
 + BLOG
 + Contact Us
 + Jobs  DAILY!
 + Subscribe 
Pink Star

LEGAL

 + Cite this Site
 + Copyright
 + Marks
 + Privacy
 + Terms of Use

INTERPRETING

 + Anecdotes
 + Bi-Cultural Mediation
 + Cloze Skill
 + Compression
 + Demand Control Pink Star
 + Development
 + Dictionaries Pink Star
 + Dynamic Equivalence
 + Education
 + Employment
 + Ethics
 + Expansion
 + FAQ
 + Fingerspelling
 + Glossary
 + Health
 + History
 + How to Become
 + Humor
 + Laws
 + Mentoring
 + Models:
     - Processing
     - Service
 + Practice Pink Star
 + Qualified?
 + Settings
 + Sign Negotiation
 + Silent Socials
 + Technology
 + Tips
 + Vocabulary 

ASK A TERP

 + ASL Students Ask
 + Children Ask
 + CoWorkers Ask
 + Deaf Ask
 + Employers Ask
 + HH Ask
 + Hearing Ask
 + Law Enforcement Asks
 + Neighbors Ask
 + New Terps Ask
 + Parents Ask
 + Relatives Ask
 + Schoolmates Ask
 + Store Clerks Ask
 + Teachers Ask Pink Star
 + Who'd We Miss?

LANGUAGE

 + Linguistics
    - Codes
    - Form & Function
    - Meaning
    - Mode
    - Pidgin
    - Prosody
    - Vocabulary Pink Star
 + ASL
    - Alphabet
    - Classifiers  
    - Dictionaries Pink Star
    - Fingerspelling
    - Grammar
    - History
    - Idioms
    - Practice
    - Variation
    - Visualization
 + English
    - Grammar
    - Idioms

DEAFNESS

 + Causes
 + Community
 + Culture
 + Education
 + Laws
 + Technology

MORE

 + Agency Finder
 + Books
 + DictionariesPink Star
 + Educators
 + Feeds
 + Glossary Pink Star
 + Humor  
 + Jobs
 + Links
 + Movies
 + News  Pink Star
 + Quotes
 + Shop
 + Subscribe
 + Videos & DVDs
 + Worship 


TRANSLATE THIS PAGE


  | Bookmark This Page

 

Seems like sign language interpreting would be a fairly easy job with few risks and not a lot of stress, right?  I mean, after all, the only thing you have to do is show up, sit down, and tell people what other people said, then go home.  'Fraid not ...

For starters, here is an April 2008 piece published by Science Daily (citation):

 


Sign Language Interpreters At High Ergonomic Risk
Adapted from materials provided by Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sign language interpreting is one of the highest-risk professions for ergonomic injury, according to a new study conducted by Rochester Institute of Technology. The research indicates that interpreting causes more physical stress to the extremities than high-risk tasks conducted in industrial settings, including assembly line work. It also found a direct link between an increase in the mental and cognitive stress of the interpreter and an increase in the risk of musculoskeletal injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

The research, conducted through RIT’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, is one of the first to catalog the effect of signing on interpreters and show a correlation between mental and cognitive stress and increased ergonomic risk. The results of the study are available in the March 2008 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Ergonomics and were also presented at the 2007 biennial conference of the Registry of Sign Language Interpreters.

“The impact of repetitive stress in industrial and office settings has been well documented, but there is less data on the risk of ergonomic injury to sign language interpreters,” says Matthew Marshall, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at RIT and a leader of the research group. “Our findings indicate that interpreters may actually be at a higher risk of injury than other professions.” 

Marshall notes that the impact of injury on interpreters and its effect on retention is a major issue in the deaf community because any reduction in the interpreter population would have an adverse effect on the full societal participation of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. 

“Gaining a better understanding of the factors contributing to interpreter injury can show us ways to intervene and reduce the risks,” adds Steve Nelson, director of access services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. “Informed intervention can help drastically reduce injuries and keep much-needed skilled interpreters at work.” 

In developing its findings, the RIT team studied a group of interpreters and measured the physical impact of signing over a fixed time period, utilizing metrics developed for industrial settings. The team found that wrist velocity and acceleration during interpreting, factors used to measure physical impact, were more acute than the high risk limits for industrial workers. In addition, an increase in mental and cognitive stress led to a 15-19 percent increase in wrist velocity and acceleration during interpreting. 

Marshall will next look to enhance this data through additional studies placing interpreters in a wide variety of settings. The information will assist in furthering understanding of the impact of sign language interpreting on repetitive stress, while also assisting organizations in developing better training programs to reduce ergonomic risk. 

“The ultimate goal is to enhance knowledge of the impacts of interpreting and help make the profession more conducive for workers,” notes Marshall.

 


,,

,,

NUTRITION / HYDRATION

Protein & Carbohydrate

Fluids

HEARING HEALTH

Decibels

Protection

ERGONOMICS

Position

Furniture

Shoes

Settings

Auditorium
Movies

REPETITIVE MOTION INJURY
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Tennis Elbow

Sustained movement (like signing) can result in strain or injury often with discomfort and pain, sometimes debilitating pain.

Examples of repetitive motion injury include:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Tennis (aka: Golfer's Elbows

Avoidance and Management

Limit Use

The common wisdom in the industry is that limiting sustained signing to 20 minutes can reduce the incidence of CTS and other repetitive motion injuries.

Exercise; Stretch; Warm-up

Let's hear it!  A generous round of applause for New York City RID (NYCRID).  Why?  Click here (their site) to find out why TerpTopics is staging the ovation.

An excellent resource on sign language interpreters and repetitive motion stress injury is this publication from Ryerson University, Toronto Ontario, Canada.

We occasionally use strengthening and stretching exercises like these and these to ease or mitigate the symptoms of repetitive motion injury.

Another excellent resource on carpal tunnel syndrome and how to avoid it is the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  Click here to learn specific carpal tunnel-avoidance exercises and stretches recommended by NIH.

In this YogaJournal.com article article about the potential benefits of yoga in managing repetitive motion injury, Sandy Blaine, an Iyengar-influenced yoga instructor who runs CTS-preventive yoga workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area, says "counteracting the movements that caused mile to moderate CTS is helpful."  She guides learners in stretching out the upper back, neck, shoulders, arms hands, and wrists.  She says, "The more flexible and strong those muscles are, the more they're going to reap the benefits."  

Want to view some videos related to Yoga and repetitive stress injury?  Thought so.  Click here.

Teaming

 

Wrist / Elbow Band

        

 

Surgery

 Here's a link to RID's Standard Practice Paper (SPP) on the topic of repetitive strain injuries.

 

 

MENTAL STRESS

... to be continued.

Sustained Intense Focus

Processing Stamina

Mental Gymnastics

 

VICARIOUS TRAUMA
Interpreter, know thyself.

... to be continued.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

 

 

INCIDENTAL TRAUMA
"Look out!"

You may think it should go without saying that interpreters should "be careful."  If your mom was like ours, she said it a million times, "Be careful," and most of the time we are.  But an interpreter can easily find his or her safety at risk.  Sometimes a situation can turn in a flash, and there you are, right smack in the middle.  Keys to avoiding incidental injury or trauma include knowledge, awareness, and planning.

 

... to be continued.

.

.

Citation: Rochester Institute of Technology (2008, April 19). Sign Language Interpreters At High Ergonomic Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417105449.htm

 

This page was edited: 09/23/2009
This page has been visited Hit Counter times since: May 2009.
TerpTopics is a trademark and service mark of TerpTopics, LLC. © 2008; 2009. All rights reserved.

TerpTopics™ is an independent entity; as such does not claim or attempt to claim, represent, or imply by any means whatsoever that it is associated with any other entity that may or may not offer services, goods, or information of interest to interpreter, Deaf, or student communities.  The opinions expressed here those of TerpTopics unless otherwise stated.  Please keep in mind that, while every effort is made to present correct, appropriate, and reasonable information that is based on our experience, anecdotal experiences of others, or developed during the general course of study and professional development, we do not represent TerpTopics as having cornered the market on wisdom (heck, no!) or experience; one reason why links to several other good and reliable resources are made available throughout this site, and we hope that earnest seekers of knowledge will take advantage of them.

 

Gifts, goodies, and prezzies!  Shop 'til you drop!!  =)

Did someone say
self-indulgence?
YUP!
Click here now!
;)
.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Books, books, and MORE books!

So many books;
so little time ...
Why waste it?
Click here now.

.

.

.

.

 

Movies, movies, and MORE movies!!

Discover films of interest to ASL or interpreting students here.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Gifts, goodies, and prezzies!  Shop 'til you drop!!  =)

Did someone say
self-indulgence?
YUP!
Click here now!
;)
.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Books, books, and MORE books!

So many books;
so little time ...
Why waste it?
Click here now.

.

.

.

.

 

Movies, movies, and MORE movies!!

Discover films of interest to ASL or interpreting students here.