Deaf Interpretive Services
Area of Study: Deaf Interpretive Services
Degree/Certificate: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Deaf Interpretive Services
About Deaf Interpretive Services at Tri-C:
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) is the only college in northern Ohio offering a program in Deaf Interpretive Services (DIS) leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree. The program provides students with knowledge in the area of deafness and Deaf Culture, as well as skills in American Sign Language (ASL), other sign language systems and methods of interpreting/transliterating. The program curriculum focuses not only on employment in educational settings but also with various community-based interpreting opportunities.
Deaf Interpretive Services Curriculum:
The curriculum consists of on-campus didactic, interactive and lab instruction as well as off-campus practicum applications at affiliated community and academic institutions. The program focuses on two areas of study – Sign Language and Interpreter Training. Sign Language courses provide the knowledge of ASL as a foreign language as well as English-based sign systems. Interpreter Training courses provide the interpreting/transliterating skills necessary for students to seek K-12 State licensure from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) upon graduation, and National Interpreter Certification (NIC) after gaining experience working as an interpreter.
The program offers specialty training in the following areas: ASL; interpreting; transliterating; voicing; and practicum experience hours. Coursework includes interpreting fundamentals, introduction to interpreting settings and orientation to the Deaf community, language and culture. Included are practical application classes in rendering spoken messages into ASL through role-playing and observation of interpreters in different settings. Hands-on experience is gained through lab work and field study including visitations, interviews and interactions with members of the Deaf community, as well as interpreting within the Deaf community. On-campus lectures and labs are scheduled at the Western campus; however, beginning level ASL courses have limited offerings at other Tri-C campuses.
The DIS program equips students with the tools and information to sit for the knowledge portion of the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exam as well as providing the fundamentals to prepare them for the performance/skills portions of the NIC Exam, which is typically sought after three to five years of experience in the field. Per the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) website, eligibility requirements include, "A minimum of a bachelor degree in any field of study recorded in the candidate’s RID account BEFORE TESTING. This applies to ALL NIC Interview and Performance Exam candidates, including those who already hold RID certification." Please see www.rid.org for further information on the NIC exam. The DIS program also acquaints students with the appropriate RID Code of Professional Conduct. In addition to the AAS degree, the program is accredited by ODE for those interested in pursuing a career in the K-12 school setting. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to apply for state licensure through ODE for K-12 interpreting.
Graduates of the program may find work as an educational interpreter, a self-employed freelance interpreter, agency staff interpreter, video relay interpreter and/or interpreting in other areas such as business, medical, government and post-secondary education.