SURVEY | ASL Interpreters for the Deaf – Do You Use Professional Liability Insurance?


SURVEY | ASL Interpreters for the Deaf – Do You Use Professional Liability Insurance?

Let me start by saying this blog post is not to promote any provider or to sell anything. It is an open forum to discuss the subject of Sign Language Interpreter Liability Insurance for interpreters everywhere.

The subject comes up in many workshops but is normally not discussed in much depth. What are your thoughts and experiences on this subject?

I know of two providers that offer liability insurance for sign language interpreters.


Do you know of other providers you would recommend?

Share your thoughts and experiences on this subject pro and con to provide valuable information for interpreters everywhere who have questions and aren’t sure where to get honest feedback.

Lake Windfall (Official Trailer HD) from Rustic Lantern Films, a subsidiary of Deaf Inc. Coming April 2013


“English, Please” Professional Opinions from Deaf Professional Angela Lee Foreman, Ph.D.

“English, Please” Professional Opinions from Deaf Professional Angela Lee Foreman, Ph.D.

Professional Opinions

“English at this table, please,” was a comment that I recalled while attending this early morning meeting consisting of executives and major stockholders.

During this meeting, I had an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter sitting, facing directly me on the other side of the center of the conference table. Before the meeting started, I was having a brief conversation with the ASL interpreter using ASL, with no voice.

With both my hearing aid and cochlear implant turned on, I could sense that overlapping verbal conversations around the table had quickly ceased, while my peripheral vision inputs suggested some of the heads have turned to watch me.

Quickly scanning the table to my right and left confirmed that all eyes were on me. I knew instantly that everyone was starting to use their imagination in figuring out what was conveyed between the interpreter and me.

For example, the guy sitting across…

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Pacers Peer Advocacy Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities


“A Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities”

Most students don’t like to see bullying, but they may not know what to do when it happens. Peer advocacy—speaking out on the behalf of others — is a unique approach that empowers students to protect those targeted by bullying. It works for two reasons: Students are more likely than adults to see what is happening with their peers, and peer influence is powerful. A student telling someone to stop bullying has much more impact than an adult giving that same advice.

In exploring a peer advocacy model in your school, consider who the adult leader should be, which students could benefit from peer intervention, and which students could be catalysts for change. The peer advocates should be educated on:
• the dynamics of bullying behavior
• the characteristics, traits, and circumstances of the students for whom they are advocating
• the options of how to intervene


Intervention strategies can be tailored for each situation. Some advocates will feel comfortable with direct interventions, such as telling the person bullying to stop. Others may want to approach indirectly, such as supporting the person after an incident or reporting it to the adult leader.

Video May Be Viewed Here:

Learn more about peer advocacy on 

For more information on how to create a peer advocacy group in your school, please contact Julie Hertzog at

Deaf Teacher Teachs Sign Language in ASL at Houston, TX High School – By Silesha Walker

Tuesday, December 04, 2012 By Silesha Walker, Westside High School
Matthew Martinez, who was born deaf, teaches his American Sign Language course at Westside High School. "Deaf people can do anything except hear," Martinez said, quoting former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan. - Silesha Walker

Matthew Martinez, who was born deaf, teaches his American Sign Language course at Westside High School. “Deaf people can do anything except hear,” Martinez said, quoting former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan. – Silesha Walker

Walking into one of Westside High School’s hallways, you’re greeted by a green canvas exhibiting the school’s fine arts programs, students talking while walking to class and one teacher that sometimes go unnoticed.

Though his class is in the beginning on the house’s hall, his quiet nature is a complete contrast of the bustling high school environment. Matthew Martinez, the ASL teacher at Westside High School, does more than teach American Sign Languages, he lives it.

Martinez was born deaf.  Though both his parents are not deaf, his cousin and older sister are both of the deaf community. Martinez said he learned signing as his first language and was able to communicate with his family.

“My father already knew signing before he was married to my mom,” Martinez said.“When they found out that my older sister and I were both deaf, they started to learn American Sign Language right away.”

Martinez says he is fortunate, because a lot of parents with deaf children tend to not know sign language or do not bother to take it all. His parents also kept him and his sister engaged in activities happening in the deaf community.

“They also always sent us to deaf community gatherings such as church, camp, theatre, picnics, etc. when we were growing up,” Martinez said. “I always enjoyed going to the deaf community because everybody’s signing.”

Though the deaf community surrounded Martinez, he didn’t attend an all-deaf school growing up. Instead, he attended a public school that provided an interpreter and deaf education program in Dallas.

Growing up for Martinez seemed normal enough with extracurricular activities and maintaining his grades just like every other students, there were times when being deaf came as a hardship for him.

“I remembered when I was a little boy and I ended up someplace isolated, lost, scared and no one able to communicate with me for few seconds,” Martinez said.

There are other things that come to a struggle to him in his everyday life that those of hearing take for granted at times.

“When something is not fully accessible, that bothers me a lot,” Martinez said. “For example, no interpreter provided, no captioning/subtitles on TV shows, advertisements, internet or movies.”

Martinez says that he being deaf is in fact a challenge, but more so for other people rather than himself.

“I have to admit I sometimes meet ignorant people,” Martinez said. “I have no problem to teach and work with them.”

That inspired Martinez to become an ASL teacher in the first place. His niece, who is also deaf, also played a major role in his wanting to be a teacher after trying to find the best education for her.

“My main goal is to provide my students the understanding of the social, political and historical of the deaf world,”Martinez said.

Though his teacher life is quite different from his every day life, Martinez still performs he duties needed to be an adequate teacher. He’s active in the demand of faculty meetings, Open House, and other things of the like in spite of being completely deaf.

“The interpreter is provided when we are having a faculty meeting, open house, graduation, etc,” Martinez said. “The main office also passes out memo pads for every teacher and other staff members so they can communicate with me whenever they need to.”

Instead of there being a disconnect and communication level with his students, it is actually stronger than most teacher-student relationships.

“Mr. Martinez is definitely one of my favorite teachers. The way he teaches gives a more in depth idea of the language, rather than just remembering vocabulary words like in other foreign language classes,” student Jessica Meents said.

Staff members find Martinez to be an inspiration and also embrace him as a valuable member of Westside’s family. ‘

“I admired him for not using his inability to hear and speak, as a handicap, to be able to teach,” Westside teacher Sandra Vargas said. “Over time he has made me want to learn the language of sign. It’s silent, yet it speaks loudly.”

In his journey of being a deaf person in a hearing world, he has used the hardships he’s faced to become the person and teacher that he is today.

“I was told that I can’t become a teacher or working with hearing children because I am deaf,” Martinez said. “For long time ago, I had to learn that I don’t have to be stuck in an environment full of non signers. I have to move and find a right place for me and myself.”

When asked what he would want those of the hearing world to know in order to be more sensitive and accommodating to the deaf world, Martinez referenced a quote from former president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan: “Deaf people can do anything except hear.”

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