Louisiana Commission for the Deaf Statewide Interpreter Needs Assessment Report
The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf released a report titled “Interpreter Needs Assessment Report for the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf,” which was developed to support the LCD 2022-2024 strategic plan goal to “establish new systems and standards for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting which define, describe, and incentivize new expectations for and oversight of the quality of ASL interpreters, including those in educational settings.”
The commission contracted with Innivee Strategies Inc. to conduct a need assessment and make recommendations that would support the development of ASL-English interpreter standards. This framework includes:
- Consideration of oversight and regulatory policies and procedures,
- Identification of statewide data and best practices from other commissions of the d/Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing (per LCD’s naming conventions; also referred to as “deaf”), and
- Gather information from the Louisiana deaf, ASL interpreter, agency, and hiring entity communities to recommend steps for the best path toward ASL-English interpreter standards.
Innivee Strategies collected data through an English/ASL survey and focus groups. Based on this data, Louisiana is currently in Phase 1 of Joseph Tseng’s 1992 Model of Professionalization, with some progress already being made in Phase 2 (see simplified model below).
The report identifies key analyses and provides recommendations that would further professionalize the interpreting field in Louisiana. Innivee Strategies identified multiple strategies that will advance the professionalization of ASL interpreters:
- Increasing the salary of professional ASL interpreters;
- Expanding the supply of professional interpreters;
- Growing the number of interpreter education programs within the state;
- Enhancing the quality of ASL interpreters;
- Strengthening the complaint and enforcement process;
- Improving the Louisiana Deaf community’s overall understanding of the interpreting profession and the use of interpreters;
- Fostering the professional development of ASL interpreters;
- Facilitating stronger collaboration between LCD, the professional association, the association of the Deaf, interpreter agencies, individual interpreters, and more.
Jana Broussard, Louisiana Commission on the Deaf Interim Executive Director said, “This report has given us a clear insight on how to move forward as a community. Improving interpreters and establishing standards will not only enhance the quality of life of our Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing citizens but also benefit our interpreters, businesses, and the hearing people who, too, need ASL interpreters to benefit from everything that deaf community members have to offer.”
Shane Feldman, CEO of Innivee Strategies added, “The Innivee Strategies team was honored to support the development of this report, which brings together many of the essential components that lead to the successful establishment of ASL interpreter standards. We look forward to the implementation of the recommendations and seeing the Louisiana approach to establishing interpreter standards becoming a model for states and their deaf and interpreter communities nationwide.”
Louisiana Commission on the Deaf (LCD) will host a Town Hall on March 29 at 6:00 pm CST to review the report, and Innivee Strategies’ recommendations, and share their next steps going forward. The LCD website will provide information about the Town Hall meeting at:
To view a summarized version of the report in American Sign Language, visit:
To read the full report, visit:
About Louisiana Commission for the Deaf
The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf (LCD) provides people who are d/Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing with programs, services, and resources to ensure full communication access to the world around them. Staff work closely with members of the d/Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard-of-hearing communities to continuously improve programs and services to meet their needs.
About Innivee Strategies, Inc.
Innivee Strategies, Inc. provides organizations with systemic frameworks that enable them to build a strong strategic decision toward their desired vision. We engage leaders and stakeholders in collaborating together to choose the best governance model, set leadership, staff, and volunteer expectations, align and optimize resources, and manage change. Innivee Strategies is a leading search firm in the recruitment and placement of executives and leaders of organizations that serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Our services also include Effective Governance, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Executive Support Systems, Leadership Development, and Guided Facilitation. Please visit our website at www.innivee.com to learn about our clients and their testimonies about how our services have benefited their organizations.