DeafBlind Interpreting National Training & Resource Center Announced

National Center on DeafBlind Interpreting at WOU

From an email from WOU on January 5

Western Oregon University’s Regional Resource Center on Deafness is pleased to announce it has received funding to establish a national center on DeafBlind interpreting. Within a framework of evidence-based practice, the DeafBlind Interpreting National Training and Resource Center (DBI) will enhance communication access for persons who are DeafBlind by increasing the number of interpreters able to effectively interpret utilizing tactile communication and other strategies.
Besides training working interpreters in ProTactile ASL and other strategies to meet individual needs, the project will increase the pool of qualified interpreters by building the capacity of DeafBlind individuals to serve as mentors and educators in this specialization, and to build the capacity of VR, interpreter educators, interpreters and other service providers to better serve DeafBlind constituents by giving them the knowledge and skills to incorporate evidence-based practices into their daily work.
Project staff include Cheryl Davis (Project Director), CM Hall (Project Manager), Heather Holmes (Resource Manager), and Elayne Kuletz (Web Manager). Primary consultants, Jelica Nuccio and aj granda, will provide in-depth training to interpreters and DeafBlind mentors in ProTactile ASL and mentoring.
Approximately 20 content experts from around the country are assisting in the effort. Over the course of the 5 year grant, trainings will be held both on-line and in person. DBI will also serve as a resource center of training materials for interpreters.
The project started January 3, 2016, and will continue through December 31, 2021. The project is made possible through a grant from the US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, H160D160005;  Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program (CFDA 84.160D): Interpreter Training in Specialty Areas.
Although no longer officially a collaborative, other Centers funded in the H160C and H160D competitions are:
  • Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation Programs: support novice interpreters working toward certification at the outset of their careers (CATIE Center, St. Catherine University in St Paul, MN)
  • Behavioral Health settings (Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault). (CATIE Center, St. Catherine University in St Paul, MN)
  • Preparing Interpreters of Color and Heritage Signers as Legal Interpreting Specialists (The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO)
  • Training Interpreters to Work with Individuals with Dysfluent Languages (Northeastern University, Boston, MA)