Salt Lake City—Last year, Sorenson Communications, LLC sponsored educational programs that were attended by more than 5,000 American Sign Language (ASL) community and video interpreters (VIs). Those who qualified and attended were awarded 1,321 continuing education units (CEUs), totaling 13,221 contact hours of instruction. CEUs enable interpreters to continue to work as professional ASL interpreters, either through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or a state certifying agency, such as the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters.
Since many ASL interpreters perform both VRS and community interpreting work, when Sorenson interpreters’ skills are strengthened, so is the overall quality of community interpreting. In 2017, Sorenson offered a variety of programs to keep pace with the most current training. These programs included community events, webinars, self-paced eLearning activities, mentoring experiences and community and internal workshops.
Stephanie Criner, VRS professional training and development education director, notes, “Sorenson Communications is committed to lifelong learning and growth for the entire interpreting industry. As the largest private employer of sign language interpreters in the U.S., we provide training opportunities that are unparalleled in our industry.”
Last year, Sorenson sponsored 13 community workshops, open to both Sorenson and community interpreters, which raised funds for local Deaf organizations. Nearly 400 webinars and workshops were provided to Sorenson interpreters. In addition, many Sorenson video interpreters participated in Sorenson’s Language Mentoring Program, which pairs VIs with a Deaf interpreter/ASL coach to refine interpreting skills. This year a new, group mentoring approach was offered that brought together small groups of interpreters from the U.S. and Canada to participate in focused ASL dialogues on specialized topics, such as banking, Social Security, sports and weather.
“As the largest private employer of ASL interpreters in the U.S., Sorenson is committed to supporting the communication needs of the Deaf community,” notes Laura Hartness, Sorenson Communications vice president of interpreting. “To provide accurate and meaningful interpretation for our Deaf SVRS customers, we offer Sorenson video and community interpreters opportunities to receive training, education and professional development while simultaneously earning required CEUs to maintain their professional certification status.”