Self-Awareness and Bias

Competency Description

Gaining self-awareness and understanding bias

Interpreters and educators do not practice in a vacuum. They bring to their work personal experiences, values, and biases. Interpreters and educators also work for an agency and a public with their own values and biases. By becoming more critically self-aware, interpreters and educators can develop a range of more inclusive, inviting, and accurate interpretive opportunities through personal services and media products.

Any external change begins with self-consciousness and awareness. Therefore, interpreters and educators must confront and uncover their own assumptions and biases. In doing so, interpreters and educators build a foundation of self-knowledge to help others examine the role and impact of biases.

Becoming self-aware requires commitment to the practices of self-examination, self-monitoring, and challenging assumptions. Self-awareness is not attained but rather is aspired to and can be demonstrated through improved actions, attitudes, and relationships with others.

Competency Standard

Interpreters and Educators:

  • Identify how personal biases and assumptions impact emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and actions
  • Acknowledge the ways in which agency bias influences one’s own perspective
  • Address how one’s own words and actions affect co-workers, other people, and themselves
  • Model self-reflection and composure when adapting to changing perspectives and circumstances
  • Seek and initiate collaborative and respectful interactions with co-workers, visitors, and communities with differing identities, perspectives and experiences
  • Continuously learn about perspectives, beliefs, and experiences different from one’s own
  • Demonstrate a respect for a diversity of opinions and perspectives

Download the 2018 revision of the foundations document: Foundations of Interpretation – Competencies for the 21st Century 2018 [PDF]

Training Resources

Write a Review

  1. I haven’t had a chance to look through these resources, but I’m excited to; it’s always hard to try to find the things you need to change/adapt about yourself.


  2. I highly suggest Project Implicit. There are many topics, and as I am an interpreter that has worked extensively with Native American and Alaska Native cultures, the Native American implicit bias self-test was most captivating for me.


  3. I highly recommend Project Implicit. As I an interpreter that tries to explain Native American and Alaska Native cultures, I found the Native American Implicit Bias Self-Testing the most captivating.


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