This project under the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme represents a ground-breaking initiative focussing on identifying competencies for sign language interpreting in legal settings and providing training for both qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters in this domain. In JUSTISIGNS, legal settings is referred to in a generic context referring to the court room, interactions with solicitors, barristers and lawyers and also interactions of Deaf people with the national police services.
The training materials will be developed for vocational educational training (VET) and continuous professional development (CPD).
The target groups are as follows:
1. Qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters working in legal settings;
2. Deaf people
3. Legal professionals.
The course will be available through each partner’s network. The Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin will make the course available through CPD training workshops as well as through its Bachelor in Deaf Studies programme to those already studying to qualify as an Irish/English sign language interpreter.
At Lessius University College and University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education the course and the materials will be available through both existing translation and interpreting courses and as part of their current VET channels.
At Heriot Watt University, the course will be specifically piloted amongst the Scottish Police Service. As a secondary measure, materials will be also available for those working in the legal profession who are practicing at the Bar or working as a Judge/solicitor/lawyer or barrister as well s those in the wider field of law enforcement who can draw on the materials to better understand the Deaf community and develop their competencies in dealing with Deaf people and sign language interpreters.
Both efsli’s and EULITA’s members will be able to avail of the course materials for CPD activities with and beyond the partner countries.
The word “Deaf” with upper case “d” refers to persons who consider themselves to be part of a linguistic and cultural minority group and identify with one another on the basis of using the natural signed languages of their country (Brennan, 1992; Higgins, 1980; Ladd, 2003; Senghas & Monaghan, 2002).
The word “deaf” with lower case “d” refers to persons who have a hearing loss and so may not use a signed language.