Nicole Maher recently had an enlightening experience while abroad at the 10th Mental Health Interpreter Training (MHIT) course in Montgomery, Alabama. According to Nicole the course surpassed all of her expectations, confirming and challenging her own current practice. The course demonstrated to Nicole the importance of a Multi Disciplinary Team approach when working with Deaf consumers. In particular, the information Nicole discovered aided her to reassess her interpreting in a range of settings, including Mental Health.
She had the opportunity to employ Robyn Dean and Bob Pollard’s ‘Demand Control Schema’, an informative tool to help prepare interpreters for the unknown during assignments. Bob Pollard clearly demonstrated the importance for the interpreter to report all linguistic information present to the medical professional, inclusive of changes in eye gaze, eyebrow raises and all other linguistic information that at times only the interpreter will notice. She was able to utilise this tool and reported on having more confidence and a clearer interpretation whilst decreasing the occurrence of the unknown. This is imperative for the medical professional to make an appropriate mental health diagnosis.
Nicole told us she had barely covered her experience at MHIT as there was simply too much to cover in a few words. However, Nicole says the training in Alabama was invaluable and the hospitality afforded to her as a visitor made the entire experience worthwhile.
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