About CIT

CIT is a professional organization dedicated to laying the educational foundations for interpreters to build bridges of understanding. While focused primarily on interpreters working between American Sign Language and English, we welcome educators who work with other languages, whether signed or spoken.

Find out more about CIT in the information posted below.

Mission Statement

“CIT’s purpose is to encourage the preparation of interpreters who can effectively negotiate interpreted interactions within the wider society in which Deaf people live. As such, one of our primary goals is to increase our students’ knowledge concerning the Deaf community, Deaf peoples’ linguistic rights and our role in the preservation of ASL. CIT seeks to accomplish its mission by fostering teaching practices and research that help educate compassionate, engaged professional interpreters who will exhibit cultural and linguistic fluency, sophisticated interactional competencies and who are sensitive to issues of privilege. We also seek to advance teaching practices that lead to a deepening of cross-cultural awareness and to guide students to interpreting practices that are based in the norms and values embraced by the Deaf community by providing arenas for the sharing of these ideas.”

Adopted in 2013

Vision Statement

In order to promote the development of quality interpreters, CIT and its members:

Adopted in 2013

CIT Board of Directors


Jessica Bentley-Sassaman

Hi I’m Jessica Bentley-Sassman, I am your new CIT president. I have been involved with CIT since 2013.  I started as CIT director of membership, became secretary, and now am president.  I look forward to serving all the members for the next 4 years. If you have ideas or suggestions, please get in touch: president@cit-asl.org. Thank you. Bye!  


Jenny Gough

I am Jenny Gough, Vice President. 

Dr. Jenny Margarita Gough (Contreras), BA, MA, and Ed.D, is a Deaf Person of Color (DPOC) from El Salvador with Maya, Chippewa, Lenca, Mangue, and Pipil heritage. Dr Gough is department chair and professor of American Sign Language at Berkeley City College and Vice-President of the Conference for Interpreter Trainers. She participated in Deaf Interpreter Education and Professional Development Training for Deaf Interpreters of Color and Trilinguals and the California Manos del Corazon (CMC) organization, and is a member of Mano a Mano and the Northern California Association of the DeafBlind. She is currently training for DeafBlind Interpreting.


Rebecca Minor

I am Becca Minor, your Director of Communications.  I look forward to being in touch with the CIT Membership.

Dr. Rebecca Minor is the Program Coordinator and an Assistant Professor of the Interpreter Preparation Program at the Community College of Baltimore County. She is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and interpreter mentor.  She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University in May 2011.  She also holds a M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and a Bachelor’s degree from Towson University in Deaf Studies. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Maryland School for the Deaf.  Rebecca has conducted research and presented workshops on linguistics and interpreting at both national and state level conferences.  She has worked in the field of interpreting for the past 11 years in various settings including VRS, performing arts, post-secondary and medical.


Stephen Fitzmaurice

I’m Stephen Fitzmaurice and I look forward to serving you as your new CIT secretary.


Director of Professional Development

Ben Davis

Hi, my name is Ben Davis, CIT’s Director of Professional Development.


Director of Communication

Eric Driskill

Hello, my name is Eric Driskill and I am CIT’s new Director of Communication and I look forward to serving you.

Eric Driskill is the Program Coordinator and a Professor of the Interpreter Preparation Program at St. Louis Community College.  He is a Missouri Interpreter Certification System – BEI Master certified and licensed interpreter and mentor.  He received his M.Ed. in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in May 1994.  He also earned a B.A. in Services for the Deaf from East Central University in Ada Oklahoma in May 1992.  Eric has worked in the field of interpreting for over 30 years and the field of interpreter education for 24 years.  

Director of Publications & Research

Danielle Hunt

Hello.  I am Danielle Hunt though you can call me Dani.  I am the Director of Publications and Research and look forward to working with you.


Board Minutes


The Beginning of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers

The beginning of the idea of CIT began during the 1978 RID Convention in Rochester, New York, when interpreter trainers informally met to discuss the need for unifying as a group of professional interpreter trainers. They discussed interpreter educator’s needs and how to get professional development. One of the biggest areas of need was how could there be a more structured way for information exchange among trainers. This collaboration at the 1978 RID Convention between interpreter educators led to first National Conference of Interpreter Trainers Conference.  

The first CIT convention was held at the St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute (TVI) on October 4-6, 1979. Additionally, the conference was organized by Ms. Anna Witter-Merithew and Ms. Becky Carlson. Consequently, the two organizers have become known as the co-founders of CIT. 

It is important to note that the conference was cooperatively sponsored by the Council of Directors, the National Interpreter Training Consortium and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. In addition, the Conference was supported in part by an agreement with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and by a special grant from the Office of Handicapped Individuals.

It is important to note that during the first CIT Convention in 1979, seventy interpreter educators attended. Then, during the conference an organizational team of ten (each person represented different geographical regions and interpreter training program types) was selected to create the mission, bylaws, membership due structure and determine how CIT members could vote to accept or reject the bylaws created by the organizational team. Additionally, it was during the organizational team’s duties that CIT became a 501(c)6 non-profit organization in the state of Kansas.

Since the very first CIT convention in 1979, the CIT has become a well-known organization for sign language interpreting programs and interpreter training educators and holds national conferences every two years.

For a detailed history about CIT you can read: Legacies and Legends: Interpreter Education from 1800 to the 21st Century, history of Interpreter Education from 1800 to the 21st Century” by Dr. Carolyn Ball

Found at: https://www.aslinterpreting.com/legacies-and-legends-interpreter-education-from-1800-to-the-21st-century/