Ethics & Professional Decision Making

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
INTR 2210
Ethics & Professional Decision Making
Sign Language Interpretation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours per week

Seminar: 1 hour per week

Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • lecture/seminar
  • small group work
  • guest speakers
  • course readings/video
Course Description
This course provides students with opportunities to clarify their own values and integrate that knowledge into the concept of sign language interpreters as cultural mediators within their professional role. Applying prior learning regarding power, privilege and oppression, students will discuss and analyze meta-ethical principles and the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct espoused by sign language interpreters in Canada. Students will also further their understanding of the decision-making framework known as Demand Control Schema and its application to ethics.
Course Content

Values and ethics 

  • Relationship between one’s own personal and professional values and one’s professional code of ethics 
  • A code of ethics as an expression of values and guidelines
  • Critical thought and situational variables that impact the application of the code of ethics
  • Personal philosophy of practice

Professional governance

  • General purposes of professional codes of ethics
  • Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct
  • Workplace guidelines and policies of employers of interpreters
  • Legislation that impacts the interpreting community of practice
  • Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters (WAVLI) and Occupational Title Protection in BC
  • Conflict and/or tensions between professional, employer and legislated governance

Demand Control Schema

  • Constellations of demands
  • Controls on a liberal-conservative spectrum
  • Positive and negative consequences 
  • Resulting demands
  • Case studies and hypothetical dilemmas

Interpreter power, privilege, positionality

  • Possibility and implications of using one’s position of power to reinforce the status quo
  • Ongoing examination of one’s own positionality in a variety of professional and community settings 
  • Envisioning oneself as an agent of change toward social, economic and racial justice
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify personal and professional values and their impact on professional decision-making
  • Examine the Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct
  • Utilize the Demand-Control Schema framework for decision-making
  • Analyze the impact of positionality and power on interactions between interpreters and others
  • Recognize the ethical responsibility of the interpreter aiming to be anti-oppressive in their practice
  • Determine the difference between ethical and professional practice dilemmas
  • Develop a personal philosophy of practice
  • Specify one’s commitment to ongoing growth and exploration of values, privilege and positionality
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Evaluation will be based on a combination of individual and group work, and at the instructor’s discretion may include presentations, written assignments, papers, quizzes and/or exams. 

A typical distribution of graded assignments follows:

  • Field Research Group Project, Presentation: 20%
  • Case Study Group Project, Presentation: 25%
  • Article Review: 10%
  • Case Conference: 20%
  • Personal Philosophy Paper: 25%

This is a letter graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.