People training to become American sign language (ASL) interpreters will be able to continue their education at Vancouver Community College as the ASL interpretation diploma program moves from Douglas College.
Sign language interpreters are vitally important to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and are essential for accessibility. Interpreters use sign language to translate spoken language and vice versa during meetings, conversations or television programs. They work in schools and courts, and for social service agencies, interpretation services, government services and television stations.
The B.C. government is providing $655,000 to support the transition of the province’s only ASL interpretation diploma program from Douglas College to Vancouver Community College in time for the fall 2023 semester.
Vancouver Community College offers a one-year certificate in ASL and Deaf studies, and the transition will have the one-year certificate and the two-year sign language interpretation diploma co-located together at Vancouver Community College. Co-location of the programs will allow the institution to explore options for different credential types, methods of delivery and entry pathways, all of which are intended to better serve students, graduates and the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, while improving supports for students, curriculum co-ordination and alignment of program goals.
With provincial funding, the ASL interpretation diploma program at Douglas College will continue for another academic year to allow current students to graduate without interruption to their studies and with opportunities to transfer available for staff. Meanwhile, the program will also be available at Vancouver Community College starting in September 2023.
Vancouver Community College: https://www.vcc.ca
ASL supports and services: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services/american-sign-language-asl-interpreter-services
Supporting Sign Language Interpreter Education (YouTube link): https://youtu.be/4YjHQQu8tEE