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African Journal of Disability (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2226-7220
Print version ISSN 2223-9170

Abstract

MOROE, Nomfundo F.  and  DE ANDRADE, Victor. Hearing children of Deaf parents: Gender and birth order in the delegation of the interpreter role in culturally Deaf families. Afr. j. disabil. (Online) [online]. 2018, vol.7, pp.1-10. ISSN 2226-7220.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v7i0.365.

BACKGROUND: Culturally, hearing children born to Deaf parents may have to mediate two different positions within the hearing and Deaf cultures. However, there appears to be little written about the experiences of hearing children born to Deaf parents in the South African contextOBJECTIVE: This study sought to investigate the roles of children of Deaf adults (CODAs) as interpreters in Deaf-parented families, more specifically, the influence of gender and birth order in language brokeringMETHOD: Two male and eight female participants between the ages of 21 and 40 years were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling strategies. A qualitative design was employed and data were collected using a semi-structured, open-ended interview format. Themes which emerged were analysed using thematic analysisRESULTS: The findings indicated that there was no formal assignment of the interpreter role; however, female children tended to assume the role of interpreter more often than the male children. Also, it appeared as though the older children shifted the responsibility for interpreting to younger siblings. The participants in this study indicated that they interpreted in situations where they felt they were not developmentally or emotionally ready, or in situations which they felt were better suited for older siblings or for siblings of another genderCONCLUSION: This study highlights a need for the formalisation of interpreting services for Deaf people in South Africa in the form of professional interpreters rather than the reliance on hearing children as interpreters in order to mediate between Deaf and hearing cultures

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