UNC Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies Awarded $2 Million Department of Education Grant

The University of Northern Colorado's Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education.

The funding will be used over five years to increase the quality and number of interpreters of color and/or from heritage signing backgrounds (hearing or deaf individuals raised by deaf parents who use ASL in the home) who specialize in the legal system. UNC also contributed more than $185,000 to this project.

It's anticipated that the program will prepare over 150 interpreters of color and interpreters from heritage signing backgrounds for work in the legal setting over the life of this grant.

For more information about the project, visit www.unco.edu/project-climb

About the Award

  • Project title: Project CLIMB: Cultivating Legal Interpreters from Minority Backgrounds
  • Grant award: $2 million (award started January 2017 and ends December 2021)
  • Funding agency: U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Researchers: Principal investigator Leilani Johnson. Co-directed by Erica West Oyedele and Amy Williamson
  • Of Note: Since 2000, UNC's ASL & Interpreting Studies program has offered specialized coursework to prepare interpreters to work in the U.S. legal system.