Michael A. Harvey, Ph.D.  

The Effects of Witnessing Oppression on Interpreters

 Interpreter Survey  

To all interpreters, experienced or neophyte: Thank you very much for filling out this survey.  It will be used for a book Iím writing on the vicarious trauma of interpreters.  (Authors of the material will remain anonymous).  This refers to the positive and negative effects of witnessing oppression of a Deaf consumer(s) while interpreting.  Many interpreters have reported such memories that have stayed with them even after several years have elapsed.   Feedback is welcome at the end of this form or via email. 


I.  Demographics

Street Address

Address (cont.)


Zip Code

II.  Description of Oppressive Situation

 1.  If youíd be willing, would you think back to some interpreting situation in which you felt that a hearing person somehow oppressed a deaf consumer?  It can be significant oppression or not significant oppression; anything that kind of got under your skin as you observed the event.  Please describe that interpreting situation and give as many details as possible. 

2.  What did you think in the situation? 


3.  What did you feel in the situation? 


4.  What did you do in the situation?


5.  With whom did you primarily identify and empathize in that situation?  What thoughts and feelings resulted?


6.  How did your reactions- thoughts, feelings, behaviors- in the situation affect your...

    A. view of the world as fair and just?

     B. sense of personal safety?


   C. sense of intimacy and trust with deaf and hearing persons? 


   D. cultural affiliation with the Deaf or hearing communities?


   E. personal psychological integrity and self perceived professional competence?


   F. perceived ability to make independent judgment calls and to act autonomously?      


   G. sense of your own empowerment and ability to influence situations?


   H. how you construct meaning out of your life?


   I. your spirituality?


Did these reactions prompt memories of other personal or vicarious experiences with oppression that you have experienced, ie; gender, cultural, sexual orientation, family of origin?  If so, please describe. 


How did you later process these reactions? What/who was helpful?





  What do you think was the impact of all your reactions on your interpreting?


III.  Final thoughts

 What effect do you think all of this had on your career as an interpreter?


What recommendations do you have for interpreter training?


Is there anything else you would like to add?