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RISP Certification Readiness Training

UNC Logo on the left and Colorado Department of Human Services logo on the right

In 2018, the Colorado General Assembly appropriated funding to the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB) to address shortages in the availability of qualified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in rural areas of the state.

Contact Us

Susan E. Brown
Project Director, RISP Training Program

Phone: 970-351-3314
susan.brown@unco.edu 

CCDHHDB has since implemented Colorado’s Rural Interpreting Services Project (RISP). One of the objectives of the funding was to prepare participants for entry-level competencies in ASL-English interpreting and professional certification in Colorado. To meet this goal, CCDHHDB has partnered with the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) to develop and implement the Certification Readiness Training (CRT) pilot. 

This CRT training ran from September 2019 through June 2020 with 20 participants.  As well, the RISP project provided three scholarships to UNC ASLIS BA students interested in working as community interpreters in rural areas of the state.  Now that the CRT training has concluded, participants and UNC ASLIS scholars will work, over the next year, as interpreting apprentices teaming alongside RISP interpreter mentors as they prepare for certification.

If RISP funding continues after June 2021, there is discussion of offering the Certificate Readiness Training to a second cohort. 

This program was limited to 20 participants who:

  • Lived in rural* Colorado or are willing to accept assignments in rural* areas of Colorado;
  • Demonstrated ASL-English communicative competence
  • Were not yet credentialed or have credentials not currently recognized in Colorado for community interpreting (i.e., EIPA);
  •  Commited to a one-year, mostly online training program;
  •  Commited, after the training, to contracting with CCDHHDB’s RISP program to provide 40 hours of work as a certified interpreter or as a paid apprentice; and
  •  Commited to pursuing a Colorado-recognized interpreter certification.

Curriculum

For successful online learning, the curriculum presented must be static enough to provide structure and, at the same time, be flexible enough to provide scaffolded learning for the individual student. As such, the training will be a year-long series of six and eight-week online modules facilitated by trained interpreting and language specialists. The Certification Readiness Training is designed for the working adult who is motivated to progress toward interpreting proficiency and agrees to pursue a Colorado-recognized interpreter certification. The curriculum promoted quality interpreting services by providing instruction in both knowledge and interpreting skill sets. Throughout the training, participants worked on their interpreting skills while building on new and current evidence-based coursework. 

This course of study is not credit bearing, however professional development hours and/or RID CEUs will be available. A certificate of completion will be offered through the University of Northern Colorado, Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies. The certificate of completion will qualify participants to work as paid apprentices or certified interpreters (as is relevant) under CCDHHDB.

Delivery

The Certification Readiness Training will utilize a variety of technologies to deliver the curriculum. The learning management system Canvas will be used for online delivery with interpreting and language specialists. Participants will have access to module content, discussion boards and video conferencing capability. Additionally, an intensive, multi-day face-to-face training in August 2019  provided participants foundational instruction from selected specialists prior to beginning online coursework in September 2019.

Language and Interpreter Specialists

To implement a training program such as this, specialized instructional staff are required. These specialists must be skilled in the field of interpreting and/or ASL language mentoring and must understand the unique requirements necessary to interpret in rural areas. Interpreting and language specialists will be trained by master facilitators on the Certification Readiness Training curriculum, pedagogical approaches to successful online facilitations, and learning through online and face-to-face learning platforms during a face-to-face training in June 2019 on the main campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

To implement a training program such as this, specialized instructional staff are required. These specialists must be skilled in the field of interpreting and/or ASL language mentoring and must understand the unique requirements necessary to interpret in rural areas. Interpreting and language specialists will be trained by master facilitators on the Certification Readiness Training curriculum, pedagogical approaches to successful online facilitations, and learning through online and face-to-face learning platforms during a face-to-face training in June 2019 on the main campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Training Participants

The Certification Readiness Training  began with a multi-day onsite intensive training and a pre-diagnostic assessment of skills, during August 2019 in Grand Junction. Online learning modules  began September 2019. Curriculum modules, facilitated by interpreting and language specialists,  provided participants learning opportunities that will build on current knowledge and skill, and support the development of ASL and interpreting skills. This program was available for professional development hours, RID CEUs and a Certificate of Completion.