Being an interpreter is a huge responsibility.
As interpreters, we make decisions every day that impact people's lives, careers, relationships, and health.
At the same time, we are experiencing our own stress, dilemmas, conflicts, and vicarious trauma.
We owe it to ourselves and to the people we work with to reflect on our work.
Facilitated Reflective Practice is just the place for this.
Group Reflective Practice is a constructive dialogue where interpreters examine ethical decision-making using the framework of the Demand Control Schema (DCS) and DCS-based supervision.
Reflective Practice sessions are facilitated by an IIRAS*-trained Supervision Leader, and are a space where interpreters support each other in learning, growth, and processing the challenges we encounter on (and sometimes off) the job.
Confidentiality is extremely important to our work and the communities we serve, but it doesn't mean you should not reflect on your work. Facilitated Reflective Practice offers a space where interpreters can receive support in a confidential manner.
Benefits for Interpreters
Whether you're a brand new interpreter or have decades of experience, research has shown that DCS-based Reflective practice can benefit you, your practice, and the communities you work with.
A more nuanced understanding of ethical decision-making
Increased professional standards & accountability
Improved relationships with colleagues
Support, validation, stress management, wellbeing
Filling the gaps left by education, standards, and ethical codes
More options for responding to the demands of interpreting
"I love the guidelines for engaging with one another without judgement. The structure is super helpful and I can't wait to try more cases with it."
Registration for Spring Quarter Opening Soon
(Deaf/BIPOC rate: $59)
Choose your day:
3-5pm Pacific Time
5-7pm Pacific Time
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do Reflective Practice sessions look like? What is supervision?
A: Each Reflective Practice session uses the DCS* structure to guide participants through the reflective process. Participants take turns sharing an ethical dilemma they’ve encountered in their work (a “case”) and an IIRAS–trained Supervision Leader will guide them and other group participants through the DCS framework.
The goal is not to judge or evaluate the decisions made by the interpreter, but to reflect on the demands of the job they were responding to, the options for how to respond to a set of demands, and to consider the consequences and values involved in those options.
This structure and process is often called “supervision” or “DCS-based supervision,” which might call to mind a workplace supervisory relationship or hierarchy. These sessions actually more closely resemble case conferencing that is used by medical providers and other practice professionals.
*DCS was developed by Robyn Dean & Robert Pollard
Q: Do I need experience with this type of structure before I join? How will I know what to do?
A: You do not need any background or experience with DCS to participate in group Reflective Practice sessions. Each session will be facilitated by a trained Supervision Leader who will be able to guide participants through the framework and provide further explanation on the process as needed.
Your registration also includes access to a course on the basics of DCS- if this structure is new for you or if you need a refresher, we ask that you take a little time to familiarize yourself with the content before your first session.
The most important thing is to come with an open mind, ready to support your colleagues and yourself as we share the challenges we encounter in this work.
Q: Do we get CEUs?
A: Yep! You will receive CEUs for each session you attend. We take care of everything.
Q: Will I see the same people every time?
A: Yes! Our Reflective Practice sessions will occur once a month, and when you register you will commit to either Sunday or Tuesday sessions for the quarter. This allows us to create consistency in the groups, and you should be seeing most of the same faces each month.
If you have a group of colleagues or employees who are interested in having their own session, email us at [email protected] and we can work with you to set up a private session that fits your schedules and unique needs.
Q: What if I can’t make one of my sessions?
A: While we hope you can make all three of the sessions you registered for, we know that things happen! If you won’t be able to attend, please email [email protected] so we will know not to wait for you.
You will receive CEUs for each session you attend.
Q: How do we ensure confidentiality while using this approach?
A: Confidentiality is very important in our work and to the communities we serve. It is possible (and important!) to participate in supervision and obtain support around our decisions without breaching our consumers’ and colleagues’ rights to confidentiality.
We accomplish this in two ways: first, we will practice sharing a case in a way that doesn’t require sharing any identifiable information. Second, everything shared within our sessions will remain confidential and won’t leave the group. Part of the role of the Supervision Leader is to ensure that these practices are followed.
Q: What qualifies as a “case”?
A: Any ethical dilemma encountered related to interpreting work can be a case. A case could be very specific to a job setting you experienced, or sometimes we focus on a pattern that has arisen. It could also be a more general situation like trying to decide your rates for direct billing work, or technology needed for working remotely.
Cases can be from a recent experience, or sometimes a case giver will want to unpack an event that happened a while ago that still isn’t sitting right with them.
Q: What if I don’t have a case to discuss?
A: Every group benefits from a diversity of cases and presenters, but no one will be required to present a case if they are not comfortable. Quite often someone comes to a session thinking they don’t have any issue ‘big’ enough to discuss, but every topic can result in beneficial conversations for everyone in the group.
We will provide some prompts to help you brainstorm cases throughout the month you could bring to your next session. Each session is only two hours, and depending on the size of the group we likely will not have enough time for everyone to present a case in every session. So, much of the time you will participate, listen, and support others in their cases.
While receiving support around your own case can be incredibly helpful, most participants find that being in a listening and support role is equally beneficial.
Audrey has been interpreting in various settings since 2009. She attained her BS in ASL/English interpreting from Western Oregon University (2009), and her MA in Interpreting Studies at WOU (2015). DCS supervision was integrated throughout these academic programs.
Since 2009 Audrey has been leading and participating in Supervision sessions. She has 12 years experience leading interpreters through this structured reflective process through the Professional Supervision of Interpreting Practice (PSIP) program at WOU, IIRAS (Interpreting Institute for Reflection-in-Action Supervision), and the Certificate of Healthcare Interpreting (CHI) program at RIT.
Supervision has become a foundational part of Audrey’s interpreting practice and she enjoys guiding others through their own reflective process.
Reflective Practice sessions will be conducted in ASL or spoken English, depending on the needs of the group. For accommodation requests, please email [email protected]
The Insightful Interpreter recognizes that Deaf and BIPOC interpreters have unique skill sets, expertise, and valuable perspectives that benefit the interpreting field. These interpreters also experience bias, oppression, and barriers in our field and our society; in response, we offer discounts on all courses to self-identified members of these groups.
These sessions are intended for working sign language interpreters.
For more FAQs, including our refund policy, please visit our website
Interpretek is an approved RID Sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This Professional Studies (PS) program is offered for 0.6 CEUs at the Some content knowledge level.