The key role of Educational Interpreters

Educational Interpreters work in schools to provide access to the curriculum in Auslan. Australian Sign Language, Auslan, is a recognised community language and the primary language for many deaf people.

Educational interpreters are fluent in Auslan and have received training in interpreting. They work as part of a team with the classroom teacher and specialist staff such as the visiting teacher service, teachers of the deaf and allied health professionals. Educational interpreters do not teach sign language, importantly their role is to support access to the content in the classroom. Additional language training may be necessary to ensure students can access the language used by the interpreter.

Additionally, our broader education workforce includes a number of deaf adults whose primary language is Auslan. As members of the education workforce, their work and contribution to the school community is enabled by the engagement of interpreters to ensure communication for all is achieved.

VDEI plays a critical role in supporting the educational interpreter workforce. This is achieved by:

  • Development of the Standards for Educational Interpreters
  • Onsite support for interpreters and schools in how to implement the standards
  • Guidelines and documentation to guide the implementation of the standards
  • Provision of professional learning designed for interpreters
  • Support for a community of practice and mentoring.

In addition, the work of VDEI is to support schools to recruit, onboard and support their interpreter workforce.

If you would like to know more about educational interpreters and how VDEI can support schools and interpreters, please contact us directly.