Sign language support in an inclusive environment: Educational sign language interpreting services in Taiwan

Hsiu Tan Liu, Han Ho Hsieh, Wan Ying Lin, Jean F. Andrews, Chun Jung Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Educational sign language interpreting services (SLIS) are vital for ensuring equal access to classroom information for mainstreamed deaf students. This study conducted interviews with 12 stakeholders, including deaf students and their parents, sign language interpreters, and resource room teachers, to comprehensively explore the status of educational SLIS in Taiwan, utilising the ecological systems theory as the framework. The findings underscore the critical importance of deaf students’ sign language proficiency in the personal system. Sign language interpreters play a crucial role in enhancing their skills through additional time and support, leading to improved learning, motivation, and attitudes. At the microsystem level, parents of deaf students are key persons in advocating for the SLIS of primary school, while resource room teachers assist at the university level during the application process. In the mesosystem, interpreter stability is crucial for parents and students. Close collaboration between sign language interpreters and teachers is essential for adjusting teaching methods and seating arrangements, and interpreters should possess qualities like enthusiasm, patience, and an understanding of students’ psychological development. At the exosystem level, higher education institutions offer established systems for educational SLIS, but primary schools lack clear regulations. Budget constraints limit comprehensive provision, making it challenging to attract qualified professionals. Increased funding and improved incentives are necessary. In the macrosystem, deaf parents expect early intervention with sign language learning resources to create a conducive environment for early sign language acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalDeafness and Education International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Educational sign language interpreting services (SLIS)
  • deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH)
  • ecological systems theory
  • mainstream setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing


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