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When the Law Meets Medicine: Translating Written English Texts into American Sign Language for Deaf and Hearing Interpreters

By Doug Bowen-Bailey & Trudy Suggs

A resource for Deaf and Hearing interpreters working on translating written English texts into American Sign Language.

Meet the Authors

Doug Bowen-Bailey

English Version

I live and work in Duluth, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior. Where I live means that it is impossible for me to specialize in a way that I could in a larger city. So, I end up wearing many hats. I am hearing and work as an interpreter.  I also provide mentoring services and coordinate interpreter education opportunities for Northeast Minnesota. I also create video resources on CD-ROM and DVD. This grew out of my experience as a mentor where I saw the gaps in existing resources for professional development.

I feel fortunate to be involved in so many different aspects of the interpreting process. Both working as an interpreter,  thinking about how to effectively guide other interpreters in their own professional development, and how to apply technology to assist in all of that. I am grateful for all the variety that continues to keep me excited about my work.

Trudy Suggs

English Version

Hello. I’m Trudy Suggs, from Faribault, Minnesota, where the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf is. I’ve worked with interpreters since I was two years old and throughout my life, which translates to over 30 years of working with interpreters. I was mainstreamed in elementary school, attended, and also attended self-contained and mainstreamed classes in public schools. I went to Gallaudet University and graduated, then went back to working with interpreters in graduate school in Chicago. So, my experiences in working with interpreters have been quite diverse and comprehensive.

I’m also a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), and often work with hearing interpreters. I’ve seen many different things, and the power and importance of collaboration in deaf-hearing interpreting teams. It’s truly important in almost every situation. I was delighted to work on this project with Doug, because it’s a great opportunity to provide increased training for deaf interpreters – especially nowadays, where there are such limited resources and very few training opportunities for deaf interpreters, unless we participate in workshops for hearing interpreters. So, this DVD is really a great opportunity – not only for deaf interpreters, but for hearing interpreters, too – to study native, first-language American Sign Language users like myself. I’ve really enjoyed working on this project. I hope you don’t become overwhelmed or struggle with the text and jargon like I did; it was a challenge for me. Good luck with this project!

Study Packet/Source Texts

When the Law Meets Medicine Study Package Cover

Please download the study packet.

The English version of this study packet in in a PDF format and includes the written source texts used for translation:

  • Notice to Patients
  • Advance Health Care Directives
  • Minnesota Patient Bill of Rights
  • Notice of Privacy Practices

It also has the English text to explain the process as well as some forms for use in analysis.


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