Sign language program graduates its first 10
The on-stage interpreters at UofL’s commencement ceremonies were not the only ones fluent in American Sign Language -- the university’s sign language program graduated its first 10 students also.
Members of the deaf community attended a special recognition ceremony for the students on May 11, the evening before Commencement.
The American Sign Language Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) program leading to a UofL bachelor’s degree was begun in 2010 to help provide access and equality for the deaf and hard of hearing. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics projected in 2007 that employment of interpreters would increase 24 percent during the next decade.
More than 50 students now major in ASLIC, part of the classical and modern languages department.
The majors take American Sign Language classes initially and then move into specialized ASL linguistic and interpreting courses. The seniors are required to complete more than 450 hours in an advanced interpreting practicum in sites such as educational, medical and judicial settings where they are placed with a nationally certified practicing interpreter.
The initial graduates were Samara Boswell, Alicia Curtsinger, Ashley Finn, Amy Heil, Lori Hibbs, Amanda Hinds, LaToya Middleton, Sarah Nobles, Jacob Parsons and Matt Rossmann.
Ashley Finn and Alicia Curtsinger discussed the program and their motivation in an interview with the Courier-Journal during Commencement on May 12. See: Courier-Journal, May 12, 2012
Related Link: B.A. in ASLIS