Here in Toronto, there is a lack of hearing and Deaf ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters with differing identities and that is not okay.
ASL interpreters are only people – lived experience affects our human ability to understand information. ASL interpreters cannot be completely neutral. What they can do is pass on messages between two other people.
This gap means that the existing ASL interpreters cannot communicate effectively as they do not understand what is being said.
For example, should I expect a straight ASL interpreter to understand me when I talk about queer issues? Is that realistic? (There are exceptions of course, but I am not talking about the exceptions.)
Black students in interpreter programs like at George Brown College in Toronto are often marginalized from the program, as such very few students graduate from the program.
Regarding this, as an example I was once in the Social Service Worker program at Seneca College for a semester before I quit. All the hearing interpreters I used were White. Can a white interpreter really interpret for an entire profession that was created by Black women? A lot of students in the classes I took were not white. Can a white interpreter effectively interpret between me and them???
Think about that.