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Vermont RID Presents
Robert Nash, and Patricia Chau Nguyen
"The Intersection of Ethics and Interpreting"

October 31, 2009, 930am - 3:30pm
Dwinell Room at Harvest Hill at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Lebanon, NH

For a map and directions, copy and paste the link below into your browser, or go to, and put "Dwinell Room Alice Peck Day Hospital, Lebanon, NH" in the search window.,+Lebanon,+NH&sll=43.656695,-72.240429&sspn=0.047939,0.107632&ie=UTF8&ll=43.649367,-72.264204&spn=0.02242,0.053816&z=14

Once you reach Alice Peck Day, follows signs to the Ethics Workshop.

The Workshop
Robert Nash, author of Real World Ethics: Frameworks for Educators and Human Service Professionals and Cornell University's Patricia Chau Nguyen offer a unique perspective on our work and the ethical underpinnings of professional ethical decision-making and behavior. Robert and Patricia will present their three-moral language framework for analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas. They will do this in a workshop format with much hands-on group interaction, actual problem-solving activities, and respectful, open-ended, dynamic moral conversation.

Please bring an example of an ethical dilemma you have faced in your work to the session. You may need to disguise some particulars for the sake of confidentiality. Participants will have an opportunity to consider these issues in small groups. The sample scenarios included at the bottom of this flyer may serve as a guide.

Cost: $50.00 for VTRID members, $60.00 for non-members. In addition there is a ten dollar processing fee for those non-members wanting CEUs (there is no charge for CEUs for VTRID members). .5 CEUs will be awarded for this program.

Please be aware that because of restrictions at the host site, we are unable to supply coffee and tea in the morning or a catered lunch. In addition there won't be a lot of time to get out to buy lunch and get back in time to eat it, so please plan to "brown bag" it.

If you want to pick up a hot beverage on your way in, you can stop at Jake's Coffee Company, 227 Mechanic Street, Lebanon, NH (on the way if you're coming via I89).

Workshop Co-Sponsors:
The Vermont Deaf Blind Project at the University of Vermont The Center for Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont The ACCESS Office at the University of Vermont

Robert J. Nash has been a professor in the College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont, Burlington, for 40 years. He specializes in philosophy of education, applied ethics, higher education, and religion, spirituality, and education. He holds graduate degrees in English, Theology/Religious Studies, Applied Ethics and Liberal Studies, and Educational Philosophy. He holds faculty appointments in teacher education, higher education administration, and interdisciplinary studies in education. He administers the Interdisciplinary Master's Program, and he teaches applied ethics, religion, higher education, and philosophy of education courses, as well as scholarly personal narrative writing seminars, across four programs in the college, including the doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He has supervised over 100 theses and dissertations.

He has published more than 100 articles in many of the leading journals in education at all levels. He has also published several book chapters, monographs, and essay book reviews. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Religion & Education, and one of its frequent contributors. Since 1996, he has published nine books, several of them national award winners: "Real World" Ethics: Frameworks for Educators and Human Service Professionals (1st and 2nd editions); Answering the "Virtuecrats": A Moral Conversation on Character Education; Faith, Hype, and Clarity: Teaching About Religion in American Schools and Colleges; Religious Pluralism in the Academy: Opening the Dialogue; Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor's Journey; and Liberating Scholarly Writing: The Power of Personal Narrative; and How To Talk about Hot Topics on Campus: From Polarization to Moral Conversation, co- authored with DeMethra L. Bradley and Arthur W. Chickering. In addition, two books are due out in late 2009: Teaching Adolescents Religious Literacy in a Post-9/11 World, co-authored with Penny Bishop; and Helping College Students Find Purpose: The Campus Guide to Meaning-Making, co-authored with Michele Murray.

He has done a variety of consultancies throughout the country for a number of human service organizations, public schools, and colleges and universities. He has also made a series of major presentations at national conferences and at universities on the topics of applied ethics, character education, religious pluralism, scholarly personal narrative scholarship, and moral conversation. He is a frequent, featured speaker at the national level.

In 2003, he was named the Official University Scholar in the Social Sciences and the Humanities at The University of Vermont, only the second faculty member in the history of the College of Education and Social Services to be so honored. In 2009, Nash received the Joseph Anthony Abruscato Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship at the University of Vermont.

Patricia Chau Nguyen is a student affairs administrator, and she currently serves as a dean of students at Cornell University focused on student support and diversity education. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and she holds a Master's Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. Ms. Nguyen has occupied multiple college personnel positions at a variety of public and private institutions, ranging from residential life, to multicultural affairs, to Greek life, to human resources work. She is especially interested in "out-of-classroom" education, and she has organized a number of training programs for several on- and off-campus constituencies. She and Robert J. Nash have offered a series of workshops and consultancies throughout the country on such topics as applied ethics, religious pluralism, moral conversation, and meaning-making for quarterlife students. She has also co-taught a graduate course with Robert in applied ethics for student affairs administrators at the University of Vermont. In her position at Cornell University, she is focused on multicultural affairs in higher education and building an institutional capacity to support students from historically marginalized backgrounds. She is finding it even more crucial in this time of financial downturn and limited resources to work on behalf of marginalized groups.

At the present time, she is charged with directing a student-services Asian center in its flagship year. She is also a co-author, working on a book with Robert J. Nash and Michele C. Murray, tentatively titled "Crossover Pedagogy: How To Forge Successful Teaching-Learning Partnerships Between Faculty and Student Affairs Administrators."

Questions? Contact Lynette Reep at or Lianne Moccia at or 603 398 4783. (Questions about the Lebanon area should be directed to Lianne).

Sample Scenarios:

You are contacted by a small group surgery practice to interpret an appointment for an older deaf man, M., regarding an upcoming surgery. The doctor and patient have worked together for a couple of years, but have always relied on notes or family members with varying degrees of fluency; interpreters have never before been provided. This time the deaf person has requested an interpreter, because of the serious nature of the appointment.

The appointment time comes around, and the consultation goes smoothly; the doctor and patient seem to enjoy the new mutual camaraderie and understanding that the presence of an interpreter permits them. Afterwards, when the office manager is scheduling surgery and post-op, she tells the patient, "I'm afraid this (hiring an interpreter) is just too expensive. Don't you have a family member you can bring along to sign?" He says that yes, his brother signs, and he will see if he is available.

You have been interpreting for a number of years, and feel an affinity for the deaf community in general and affection for M., whom you have known for some time. You feel affronted on his behalf (knowing the ADA mandates that the doctor provide interpreting services) and also personally annoyed at being put on the spot. You have met M's brother, and know him to be a decent conversational signer; however he is not a trained interpreter, and certainly not an impartial third party. You have grave concerns about the outcome if M's brother is hired to "interpret" surgery and the follow-up.

On the other hand, you respect the patient's autonomy and right of self-determination; if this were a very na´ve consumer, you would be more tempted to intervene, but M. is a proud and independent-minded person and may have his own reasons for acquiescing. Several years ago you were involved in a mixed Deaf and hearing group that provided information on the ADA to institutions and members of the Deaf community, but M. wasn't living in the area at the time, and you're not sure just how aware he is of his legal rights.

You would also like to discuss this further with the office manager--are they aware of the requirements of the ADA? What if you were willing to waive a portion of your fee?--but don't want to have this conversation in front of M. You wonder if it would be best to discuss this privately with the patient outside, but again, don't want to be perceived as nosy or interfering.

I am a newly certified interpreter. A call goes out by the local hospital. There is a 23 year old deaf female in the ER who is vomiting blood and having chest pain. An experienced interpreter has responded but needs to be replaced within two hours in order to meet a prior commitment. The hospital puts calls out. I am available. I tell them I can be there to replace the seasoned interpreter. I ask for information about the deaf person's communication needs. I want to do a good job.

I am told that the deaf woman is from a deaf family. She does not use voice at all and she does not read or write English. I am not sure I will understand or be understood but I do not want to leave a person in the ER without an interpreter. Isn't some one better than no one?

You are called in to interpret for a teacher of the deaf (who is Deaf herself) during a team meeting about a student who is deafblind (Deaf and visually impaired). The vision expert on the team is trying to explain to the teacher his need for information about how the student uses her vision. The vision expert uses terminology that you are not familiar with, and you need to ask repeatedly for explanation of words and concepts. The teacher becomes increasingly frustrated at having to wait. In addition, her responses to questions asked by the vision specialist indicate to the specialist that his questions have not been understood. After a half-hour or so the communication has broken down, and both parties seem very frustrated and not wanting to continue. What are your options and responsibilities in this situation? How will your experiences in this situation influence future decisions that you make as an interpreter?

You are asked to interpret for a high-school girl at a local theater performance. When you arrive you discover that she is deafblind and requires tactile interpreting. (She reads sign language with her hands.) You have never done tactile interpreting before, and are uncomfortable at the thought of being so physically close to an adolescent girl. What are your responsibilities and options in this situation? How will your experience in this situation influence future decisions that you make as an interpreter?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

"The Intersection of Ethics and Interpreting"
Mail this form along with your check made out to VTRID, to Lynette
Reep, 79 Cayuga Court, Burlington, VT 05408





Check items that apply:
____ $50.00 (VTRID member, CEUs included)
____ $60.00 (non-VTRID member, no CEUs)
____ $10.00 (CEU fee for non-VTRID members)
____ $30.00 (VTRID membership fee)

Those joining VTRID today can take advantage of member prices and receive .5 CEUs at no extra charge, as well as discounted entry to other workshops this year.

Total check enclosed: ______________

Presentation will be in spoken English. Deadline for interpreter request is October 15th.

____ I need interpreting services for the workshop

Please register by October 15th; space will be limited.