Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

American Sign Language/English Interpreting


This program focuses on American Sign Language and English Interpreting, so that whole process of interpreting for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, who uses American Sign Language as their primary language, into English for a person who can hear and does not understand sign language, and then, vice versa, interpreting English into sign language. They really try their best here at Kent State to get us exposed to as many different types of settings and people as possible. We have a lot of partnerships and well, with Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, and we do all of their events. We did the aquarium, the zoo, COSI, Great Lakes Science Center, those were all through the partnership with the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center. Knowing how to interact with the deaf community, learning from them, respecting them, all of that is so vitally important. It’s… invaluable when you get out into the real world and you want to start interpreting. This program is so in-depth and so comprehensive. A lot of our sign language professors, they’re deaf. So they really know the language. All of the interpreting professors have been interpreters for ten or more years. It’s just a really great experience to be able to have them have that amount of knowledge and tell us how it has changed over the years, so you really get just everything you need to know. Every professor I’ve had, like, I’ve loved. Having professors that know me by name and could identify me if I was walking down the street, that was not an experience I had in high school, or my community college. I was just kind of a face and a number and like, a seat in the classroom. But here, I’m very much an individual that they know about. There’s a good reputation for a reason. This program produces skilled interpreters. And interpreters who are not only skilled linguistically, but people who are professionals. People leave this place knowing how to conduct themselves as adults in the adult world as professionals, to make sound, ethical decisions. They’re equipped to do that. The program here is so good. Like, the classes and the professors here are so good at what they do and teaching us in a way that we will learn. And they care so much about the language and the culture, that it makes it a really unique program. I really haven’t experienced anything like this before coming to this program at Kent, and I don’t think I’ll experience anything like it ever again.

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