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Deaf Community Expert Leads Interpreting Workshop at WNC

Posted: June 25, 2018

Who better to receive sign language assessment and training from than the person who co-authored the nationally recognized Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA)?

Kevin Williams, co-author of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment, led a workshop for K-12 interpreters at Western Nevada College recently.

Leading the workshop for K-12 interpreters was none other than Kevin Williams, who shared a wealth of knowledge and experience related to mainstream, interpreted education of deaf children in America.

Williams has worked professionally in the deaf community for more than 35 years and besides co-authoring the EIPA, he established the EIPA Diagnostic Center at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Neb.

Twenty-six participating interpreters were instructed in American Sign Language/English linguistics, bilingual education and interpreting theory over the course of the five-day workshop.

Nevada has adopted the EIPA to evaluate the skills and preparedness of interpreters to work in school settings. Many interpreters struggle to meet and exceed the high standard Nevada has set for its interpreters. Williams spent time demystifying and providing practical solutions to aid interpreters in representing their skill set. He even offered his time each day after the workshops for 1-on-1 mentoring sessions. Many interpreters took advantage of this opportunity and had personal breakthroughs of understanding.

“Beyond the instruction that took place, Mr. Williams’ heart and passion to lift educational interpreters upward and onward was a profound and meaningful thread woven throughout the workshop,” said Jesse Palmer, ASL instructor at WNC and an interpreter specialist for Carson City School District. “The perception of “us” (interpreters) and “they” (assessment raters/administrators) was greatly altered for many of the participants. The short-term hopes of an improved EIPA score have been paired with a renewed long-term goal of improved language access and education for the deaf and hard-of-hearing children we have the privilege and responsibility to work with.”

The weeklong workshops helped prepare local interpreters for their subsequent EIPA exam.

For more information regarding the Deaf Studies or Interpreting Licensure Preparation, call the Career and Technical Education Division at 775-445-4272 or visit https://www.wnc.edu/degrees/aas-ds/ for Deaf Studies and https://www.wnc.edu/degrees/cl-cl-ds/ for interpreting.