Seattle Central Community College                                               Humanities and Social Sciences


Interpreting Training Program




COURSE: ITP 145: Ethics of Interpreting    

PREREQUISITES: Admittance into ITP, Deaf Interpreter or Deaf Studies Program or by permission

CREDIT HOURS: 3                                                                                      

DAYS: Fridays, 9:00-12:00 Noon

ROOM: BE 3209


Phone: 206-452-5097            Email:

Office: BE 1123      Office Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 11-12 noon, 3-4 PM        


The Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) of the RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) is the central focus of this course. We study each of its tenets and use actual incidences to gain better insight into how the Code applies. We will first compare the RID CPC with other professional codes and/or ethics.  In addition we will discuss the influences of our own personal values, mores and to become aware of our own prejudices and biases in the context of an interpreting situation.                                                       



Encounters with Reality: 1,001 Interpreter Scenarios, 1999, Brenda E. Cartwright. RID Publication, Silver Spring, MD

Decisions, Decisions: A Practical Guide for Sign Language Professionals, Janice H. Humphrey. H & H Publishers, Amarillo, Texas

            3 ring binder for handouts and journal


Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

1.         Apply each tenets of the RID Code of Professional Conduct into a variety of situations

2.         Articulate clearly your responsibilities as an interpreter, and the boundaries of those responsibilities

3.         Recognize your own values and biases and how these may affect your role as an interpreter

4. Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to interpreting assignments and situations


There will be lectures, discussions and small group activities



    1. Bi-weekly journal: Write/type in your thoughts, feelings, experiences and/or ideas how you would resolve a situation/scenario discussed in class. You are also expected to share from your observations of interpreters in the field how they conducted themselves on the job. (From your required observation and SSP hours in ITP 162 & 163) Submit by email bi-weekly after class beginning the second Friday of classes. A-M, N-Z Preferably one page.  (10 pts each)
    2. Final summary of your weekly journal based on your learning in the class, your observations and discussions in class. Due last week of class (20 points)

3. Research Paper: You are to do research on one area of interpreting i.e., educational; working with children & teens; freelance; medical; legal; stage & screen; religious or team interpreting and compile at least three situations related to ethics, briefly summarize each situation and conclusion. Add your own thoughts how you would handle each situation using one of the ethics and decision making criterias taught in class for thoughtful analysis.  Your paper must be typed 3-4 pages, one and half spaces, be sure to headline your paper with your name, course number; title and topic and include a reference page. Due: Friday, February 24, 2012.



4.There will be a midterm and a final exam, both written. The tests will cover topics discussed in class and in our readings.

Work is submitted at the end of class on the date due.  Keep a copy of all your work submitted. Make-up exams or quizzes will be given the week before the following Friday, it is your responsibility to schedule a date. Late work will be accepted with a penalty of 10% for each class day late.


Active Participation in Class                 25 points
Weekly Journal & Final Summary        70 pts
Midterm                                                 30 pts
Research Paper                                   50 pts
Final Exam                                          100 pts
Total Points for Class:                    275 points                   

Your final grade will be reported as a decimal grade e.g. 3.7. Below is a conversion table, which shows how the points and percentage grades relate to letter and decimal grades.

Points:               Percentage:            Letter Grade:             Decimal Points:

275-248          =         90% - 100%           =        A            =             3.5 - 4.0
247-220           =        80%- 89%              =        B            =             2.5 – 3.4
219-193           =        70% - 79%             =        C            =             1.5- 2.4
192-165           =        60%- 69%              =        D            =             0.5 - 1.4
164-0               =        59%- 0%                =        F            =              0 - 0.4

Absence Policy:

Most of our learning happens in the classroom so participation in classroom discussions and activities counts toward your grade. There is minimal outside work required for this class, therefore you are expected to be in class, and on time for every session. Any absences can impede a student’s progress. However, some absences are unavoidable. You may have up to 1 absence without it affecting your grade. Students missing more than 1 class will have 25 points deducted from their final grade. Students missing over 2 classes will have 50 points deducted from their final grade. Students who frequently miss parts of the class may have those hours totaled to count as absences from class.

Students shall be responsible for gathering all notes, materials and information missed during an absence. Any missed assignments or evaluations may not be able to be made up.

Course Withdrawal Policy

Students who are enrolled in Seattle Central Community College may withdraw without penalty until the midpoint of the semester. After that time, they may withdraw and receive a WF (withdrawn failing). An "F" will be averaged into their GPA.

Academic Honesty Policy:

Students who want to become professional interpreters need to develop competencies and gain knowledge. There are no shortcuts. Students found to be cheating or plagiarizing may receive a lowered grade on the material or in the course. For information on appeals consult the Seattle Central Community College Student Handbook.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to 1) use of any unauthorized assistance, resource or materials in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; or 2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized on writing papers, preparing reports or videotapes, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or 3) the acquisition, without permission, of a test or other academic material belonging to Seattle Central Community College, to any department, or to any staff.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to 1) use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment, or 2) unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person; or 3) use of any agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

These guidelines apply to works of written or spoken English and sign language.

Note: If you need reasonable accommodations based on a documented disability, have emergency information to share or require special arrangements in case of emergency evacuation, please make a confidential appointment with me within the first two weeks of class. For more information regarding support services or accommodations, call the Disability Support Services at 587-4183, room BE#1112.