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Break the Veil of Research
May 9, 2018

What Happens When You Break the Veil of Research?
Nancy Frishberg, Senior User Experience Researcher & Coach

What is the relationship between an interpreter and her audiences (speakers of different languages)? People who receive formal training as interpreters in the US must agree to a specific Code of Ethics as members of the profession. The role of ethics is right upfront in sign language interpreting. Does it matter who is paying whom? What assumptions do we bring to the interaction? What decisions must be made on the spot? What decisions are made in advance? Who benefits? Who is at risk? What kinds of unforeseen consequences might occur? How does one prepare for any of this? Of course there are people who function as an interpreter, but who may be not formally trained and thus perhaps ignorant of the Code of Ethics. How do we expect them to behave?

In design education, there is no ethical code that all agree on. What about computer science or any of the other disciplines we may have been trained in? The discussions of ethics and the real-life experiences that followed have informed my understanding of universal access and ethical responsibilities of design. I'll challenge myself to make the connections between these two endeavors (interpreting and design research or human-computer interaction) clear for all.

About the Speaker

Finding the connection between ethics and the real-life experiences.

Nancy Frishberg (@nancyf) has had several careers. The one most familiar to CHIFOO audiences is her work in qualitative research with humans, usually about improving products and services that people use and pay for and the processes that get them to those interactions and purchases. She has worked in tech companies, financial services institutions, and as a consultant to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

In a previous life, she was an academic and then a consultant with specialties in sign languages, translation and interpretation. She failed in her first attempt to pass the performance section of the national certification evaluation, passed in the second attempt, and then went ahead and wrote the book that became the basis of the written portion of the test. The book has been in print for over 30 years. Her interpreting certification has now lapsed.

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