Sorenson Communications, LLC—a company providing communication services that include video interpretation and sign language interpreters— announced that, in 2019, its Interpreter Education and Professional Development (IEPD) Department provided more than 25,000 hours of instruction to more than 6,000 American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. Of this total, 14,490 hours were eligible for continuing education units (CEUs), which are required to maintain professional credentialing.

Programming was sponsored by IEPD instructors who provided educational programming on over 85 topics—more than double what was offered in 2018, according to the company’s announcement. Sorenson interpreters were able to participate in training topics related to call navigation and handling, interpreting skills, self-care, impacts of power and privilege in their work, linguistics, and ASL, as well as specialized workshops for trilingual interpreters. Interpreters could choose from nearly 800 educational webinars, small group language or interpreting mentoring, and eLearning opportunities. Educational offerings met a variety of skill needs and learning styles while also responding to the training needs requested by interpreters and consumers.

Sorenson’s educational focus is both internal and community-based. Sorenson says it partners with more than 80 Interpreter Education Programs that introduce interpreting students to a professional work environment and the opportunity to discuss the work of interpreting with professionals prior to graduation.

Sorenson said that it supported local communities by providing five community workshops held in the United States and donated more than $1,700 in CEU workshop registration fees to local Deaf and interpreting community organizations.

More than 100 heritage language users—bilingual participants raised with one or more signing Deaf parents, also known as Codas— were said to have participated in programs that prepared them to become community or Video Relay interpreters. 

Sorenson sponsored a Deaf Interpreter Academy, in 2019 which the company said raised awareness of best practices in Deaf interpreter teaming and created opportunities to foster Deaf interpreter development throughout North America. In 2019, 32 Deaf interpreters graduated from the program.

Stephanie Criner, executive director of Sorenson’s IEPD team, said, “Sorenson’s commitment to connecting lives through training and educating interpreters is our passion for the new decade.”

Sorenson Communications CEO Scott Wood added, “We continue to be the leader in providing our interpreters educational opportunities so they can provide top-quality services to our relay and community consumers.”

Source: Sorenson Communications