Tender for Review of Registers for Sign Language Interpreters

Invitation to Tender for a review of literature and international practice on national and voluntary registers for sign language interpreters

For information in Irish Sign Language, please click on the link below:
Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) is the national Sign Language Interpreting Service for Ireland.  We were established on the recommendation of the 2006 Prospectus Report on Sign Language Interpreting Services and Provision in Ireland, through the Citizens Information Board (CIB).
Our Mission Statement:  SLIS will promote, represent, advocate and ensure the availability of quality interpretation services to Deaf people in Ireland.

The goal of SLIS is to ensure that Deaf people can live as full and equal citizens with easy access to relevant public, educational and social services, and exercise their rights and entitlements, including under the Equal Status and Disability Acts.

During the period 2015-20 SLIS will work towards:
• High quality interpreting services that allow Deaf People to participate fully in all aspects of public life;
• Continuing the development of Irish remote interpreting services (IRIS);
• Promoting and encouraging good practice and professional standards across all interpreting services offered to Deaf People;
• Increasing availability of interpreting services in key areas of daily life, particularly where Deaf people are accessing their rights or entitlements; and
• Advocating for the needs of Deaf People in relation to access to interpretation to allow them participation in key aspects of life; most particularly public services.

One of the five priorities in the SLIS strategic plan 2015-2020 is “To support and promote consistent standards of service and quality in sign language interpreting services”.
One of the goals under this priority is to develop a register of sign language Interpreters in Ireland. This will enable SLIS to
Ensure that the work and role of interpreters in the Deaf Community is recognised and that there is an accurate source of current information about interpreters and their availability.
Provide an online facility on the SLIS website where Deaf and hearing people can locate interpreters and find contact and professional information about interpreters with a view to engaging them for services. 

To equip SLIS in this work, SLIS is now seeking expressions of interest from researchers to conduct a literature and practice review and report on effective national and voluntary registers for sign language interpreters. 

Irish Sign Link (to 2007) and then SLIS (from its inception in 2007 until 2011) acted as a booking agency for ISL interpreters.  In this capacity, SLIS kept a register of interpreters and ran assessment and moderation processes to identify quality standards among interpreters. This was sometimes seen as a national register of interpreters.

Due to a decision taken in 2010 by the Revenue Commissioners determining SLIS as possible de facto employers of Interpreters, SLIS effectively ceased its booking service for face-to-face interpreters and focused resources on acting as a referral agency, developing the Irish Remote Interpreting Service and supporting access to and quality of interpreting.
This places the development of a SLIS register in the domain of a voluntary and quality improvement process, rather than a regulatory register of interpreters, although this may be a desirable long term goal for some stakeholders.  To this end, SLIS is seeking to inform development of the register by looking at research and practice in other countries.

Scope of the project
The objective of the literature review is: to collate and synthesize international literature and practice in relation to national and voluntary registers of sign language interpreters.

The literature and practice review should focus on research and practice from 2000 to date that is specific to policy developments and practical initiatives focusing on registers of Sign Language Interpreters.  It would be useful to include approaches to both voluntary and regulatory Registers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA, as well as other international practices, for example in Europe.
Analysis should provide key messages, implications and recommendations for SLIS and the Irish context.

Aims of the research
The research report should include a review of literature on international approaches and practice, policies on registers for sign language interpreters, a synthesis analysis of effective interventions and their key features, a comparison to the Irish context, and conclusions and recommendations.

The research report should answer key questions:
 What does literature identify as effective international policy or practice in developing registers of sign language interpreters? 
 What are the features of registers identified in terms of rationale (for example voluntary, quality improvement, national regulation or licence to operate), aims, outcomes achieved and how is this evidenced?
 How was policy developed, supported, resourced, implemented and monitored?

Researcher requirement
We will require the following information in the tender:
 your track record in undertaking similar research work;
 relevant qualifications;
 knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research approaches and methodologies;
 a proposal and plan of your methodology and approach to the research which
identifies the lead researcher, demonstrates an understanding of the objectives of the work and supports your capacity to carry out the work within a set timescale;
 an overall project costing including the number of day’s work involved and VAT; and
 name and contact details for two referees.
      Knowledge of sign language interpreting is essential.

Pre application supports.
SLIS is available to provide further detail and information to prospective applicants on budget guidance relating to the quality and scale of project, as well as on prospective project plans, scheduling and outputs. 

The successful tenderer will work with SLIS staff.  SLIS will provide a comprehensive briefing to the successful applicant, identify some key literature and provide support meetings, including feedback on drafts.

Deadline for submission
Thursday, December 10th 2015 by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by post (address below).
Shortlisted candidates may be called for interview. 

For further information please contact
John Stewart,
Sign Language Interpreting Service
Deaf Village Ireland, Ratoath Road, Cabra, Dublin 7.
Ph:  0761 07 8444
SMS: 087 650 6651

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