Stepping Stones for Novice Interpreters

Ethical Decision-Making for Deaf Interpreters

This course is adapted from a general course for any interpreters to specifically be targeted for Deaf interpreters.  Facilitated by Dr. Naomi Sheneman, there will be opportunities for meetings in Zoom to discuss the material in the modules with Dr. Sheneman and your peers.


This course is designed for ASL interpreters, Deaf and hearing, and has been created for two main purposes:  1) to prepare you for taking an ethical interpreting exam and 2) to achieve a broader view of ethics to guide your decisions on the job.  This course is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to encourage curiosity about ethics and deepen your understanding and application of ethical decision-making.  One of the benefits of taking a closer look at ethics is that some of the frameworks can help you analyze the nuances of interpreting. It is our hope that you will come away from the modules in this course with an ability to apply these concepts in your real life work and on an ethics exam.

Learning Objectives

Someone who successfully completes this course will be able to:

  • Understand a broad view of what are ethics and how to approach ethical decision-making
  • Understand the evolution of ethics in the field of ASL interpreting
  • Describe what core values are and the difference between personal and professional values
  • Differentiate between ethical decision-making in real world scenarios and exam scenarios
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various frameworks used for ethical decision-making
  • Consider the different perspectives present in a real world interpreting scenario
  • Apply a framework for decision making to a case study
  • Apply a framework to a real world interpreting scenario
  • Conceptualize “supervision” and its benefits to a practice profession

The expected time commitment for this course is approximately 10-15 hours of engaging with the material.  The course will open May 15 and close August 1.  Registration will be available from May 15-31, 2024.

About the Facilitator

Head shot of a white woman with short brown hair wearing turquoise earring and purple and white patterned shirtThis course will be facilitated by Dr. Naomi Sheneman.  Dr. Sheneman is an experienced Certified Deaf Interpreter and interpreter educator. She has been working in the field of interpreting in various roles since 2002 and has been a key consultant for the Dive In project’s Deaf Interpreter cohort.  This support will be provided from May 15-August 1, 2024.

What Facilitation Includes:

  • Orientation Session in Zoom:  Thursday, May 16: 4-5 PM Pacific/ 5-6 PM Mountain/  6-7 PM Central/ 7-8 PM Eastern
  • Post-Module Discussions:  Participants are encouraged to complete the module before meeting. The meetings are encouraged, but not required.  They will be recorded for viewing if you are not able to attend.
    • Module 1: Tuesday, May 28th 4-5:30 PM Pacific; 5-6:30 PM Mountain; 6:00-7:30 PM Central; 7-8:30 PM Eastern
    • Module 2: Thursday, June 6th: 4-5:30 PM Pacific; 5-6:30 PM Mountain; 6:00-7:30 PM Central; 7-8:30 PM Eastern
    • Module 3: Monday, June 17: 4-5:30 PM Pacific; 5-6:30 PM Mountain; 6:00-7:30 PM Central; 7-8:30 PM Eastern
    • Module 4: Monday, July 1: 4-5:30 PM Pacific; 5-6:30 PM Mountain; 6:00-7:30 PM Central; 7-8:30 PM Eastern
    • Module 5: Wednesday, July 10: 4-5:30 PM Pacific; 5-6:30 PM Mountain; 6:00-7:30 PM Central; 7-8:30 PM Eastern

About the Course Developer

Adeline Riley is an ASL interpreter who has been certified since 2010.  She has a passion for ethical decision-making that has grown since a colleague introduced her to case conferencing and supervision. Since that time, reflecting on how her choices impact other people has really influenced her work as an interpreter.  She has experience mentoring and facilitating study groups to support novice interpreters in preparing for ethics exams.  Her own professional development focuses on ethics and she is excited to share these resources and perspectives with you. 

  Registration open May 15-31, 2024.  

The registration form will provide you a link to enroll in a free Canvas course.  It will also ask for optional demographic information which will be helpful for the CATIE Center in evaluating the effectiveness of these resources for supporting the diversity of novice interpreters who are entering the interpreting field.  

About Stepping Stones for Novice Interpreters

This course is part of a series developed by the Dive In project of the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University. Each module will have a facilitator from the CATIE Center who monitors a Support Forum.  The activities are designed so that you can do them asynchronously. Though possible to do independently, we encourage you to either join as a group and work through the material together – or use the introduction forum to seek out others in the course who might work with you in the discussions. Collaborative learning can be a really important tool in professional development.