Sinclair students graduating from the American sign Language program have many avenues to utilize what they have learned.
Phyllis Adams is the chair of the Early Childhood Education department, as well as the American Sign Language Program. She talked about how student from different majors are able to take beginner, intermediate or advanced classes, and are able to receive the foreign language credit they need to graduate. “Sometimes there are students from four year colleges and universities that come to Sinclair and take it for their foreign language credit,” Adams said. There will be students in another discipline (Education, Nursing or Social Work) or they may know they’re going to come into some kind of contact with deaf individuals at work, so they’ll take sign language
course to make them more marketable,” said Adams, as she talked about students with different majors taking ASL as an elective.
She also mentioned that the students, who are ASL majors, have to take a practicum. A practicum is the capstone for the ASL majors, who have go to a K-12 setting (which is mandatory), where they’ll
have to interpret a theatrical production, a Sinclair talks event or something similar. The practicum lasts a year, and once done, they
graduate. Students have to go through the Ohio Board of Education to make sure they completed the course in a classroom setting, the
graduate has worked with deaf children. They must know the protocols and the roles of the interpreter, along with attending at least one class setting with a deaf student. The interpreter would sit in on doctors’ appointments, Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, counseling appointment, as well as other meetings. You also get the opportunity to travel around the world and become an interpreter for a deaf person that speaks another language. The language is whatever the native language is for that country, so the interpreter would have to learn another language; signing is not a universal language. No matter what a students major is, they are always welcome to go to the ASL lab, which is located in Building 9 room 222. There are deaf employees there, as well as an interpreter willing to help students. Many times students will role-play with another ASL student, and an actual deaf student. In the scenarios one student will play the interpreter, the other ASL student will play the role of the doctor, business person, counselor, etc. and the deaf person will play themselves. Once the scene is finished, the student would get constructive criticism back that was due to them, and would get the opportunity to correct their mistakes. “I enrolled into ASL because I was very comfortable and familiar with sign language. My mother is deaf so therefore I was taught sign language before I could speak,” said Andrea Rankin, 28, a hearing student that was in the ASL program. She decided to join the program so that she could communicate with her mother better. “Growing up with my mother being deaf wasn’t much of a challenge for me due to my understanding of the culture she was used to, but once I had children it was abnormal for them to understand why she sounded like she was speaking a different language,” she said. Rankin said that rowing up was frustrating at times. “I recall being embarrassed as a teen introducing her to my boyfriends, afraid they would pass judgment, but later I began not to care,” she said. “I never get frustrated with her because for the most part I know her so well. When she asks something or needs help explaining something, I know already what it is she wants,” Rankin said. Being a certified ASL interpreter, the employment opportunities vary in areas such as education, medical, legal, theatrical, governmental and religious interpreting. ASL majors aren’t the only ones who can use the lab, students of all majors can feel free to stop by and learn. For more information, visit sinclair.edu/explore/sign-language.