Home / Conference


“What’s up Doc?”
Interpreting in the medical, mental
and allied health care settings

Toulouse | France | 09 – 10 September 2017



Interpreting in the medical, mental and allied heath care settings for deaf people using sign language and access to health care is complicated by the language barrier.  It begins when making an initial appointment through to the health consultation, be that with a nurse, a general practitioner or medical specialist (consultant, psychiatrist, dentist, etc.).
From the creation of the administrative file to the request of reimbursement (depending on the health care system), from reading the prescription to organizing a stay in a rehabilitation centre; the presence of a sign language interpreter (SLI) is often essential.
Through the theme “Interpreting in health care settings,” we propose to consider the place of sign language interpreters amongst the ‘white coatsʼ (and ask wether we should also wear one).
Exploring questions such as:
  • Should SLI have a specific healthcare training?
  • What is the role of ‘Medisigns’?
  • Are there any healthcare specific interpretation strategies? What issues are there with healthcare terminology?
  • How are deaf interpreters included in healthcare interpreting? How can SLI handle their stress?
  • How do patients regard healthcare SLI (and vice versa)?
More broadly, how other fields of research (translation studies, linguistics, sociology, ethnology) explore healthcare interpreting. Other areas of interest include: training for deaf professionals working in medico-social settings, SLI presence during epidemic alerts (e.g. AIDS, swine flu, avian flu, etc.) and during information campaigns led by the authorities.