American Sign Language Interpreting
What is American Sign Language Interpreting?
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language used predominately in the United Sates and Canada. Rather than sounds, ASL uses shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements to convey information.
An ASL interpreter uses his or her knowledge of American Sign Language, English and the differences between Deaf and hearing culture to mediate communication between Deaf and hearing individuals. In order to interpret in Utah, candidates must pass a state or national certification test.
The demand for qualified interpreters exists in many settings: educational interpreting, such as K-12 or higher education interpreting; community interpreting, such as for doctor’s visits, court appearances, and business meetings; and for the provision of video relay services (VRS) and video remote interpreting (VRI) services.
ASL Interpreting at DSU
Dixie State University’s American Sign Language Interpreting program is unique in southern Utah. In addition to language acquisition classes, students take classes in Deaf Culture and Interpreting. Students learn crucial communication skills such as cultural awareness and sensitivity, register and code switching, and the ability to be lifelong learners. Furthermore, they develop cultural and linguistic knowledge to navigate various social, professional and educational environments as cultural and linguistic liaisons. This program aims to prepare graduates to pass the Utah Novice Interpreting Exam.
Minoring in ASL
For those students who are interested in studying ASL, but do not want to become interpreters, there is an option to receive a minor in ASL. Students take language and culture classes, preparing then to interact with Deaf community members. However, the minor does not include any of the interpreting classes and will not prepared students to become interpreters.