Sorenson Communications Announces New SVRS Interpreter Education Program Award of Excellence
Sorenson Communications(TM), the nation’s leading provider of Video Relay Services (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate, today announced a new award. The Sorenson VRS(R) (SVRS) Interpreter Education Program (IEP) Award of Excellence will recognize training programs that incorporate VRS tracks into their curriculum and continually improve their programs in response to the broadening communication needs of the deaf community.
Sorenson Communications, the world’s largest employer of sign language interpreters, is implementing the new award to encourage programs to train increasing numbers of high-quality professional interpreters.
The SVRS IEP Award of Excellence will be presented to two IEPs that meet or exceed specific criteria. The winning programs will be awarded $10,000, to be reinvested in curriculum and training materials to strengthen already existing programs. This year’s awards will be announced at the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) 2008 Conference, to be held in Puerto Rico, Oct. 22 through 25. In addition to the $10,000 awarded to each program, the cost of attendance at CIT will be paid for two faculty members from each winning program. Chris Wakeland, vice president of interpreting for Sorenson Communications, notes, “Our goal is to recognize IEPs that are effectively preparing interpreting students. As a result of this training, the time between graduation and when they enter the workforce is reduced.”
Wakeland adds that with the growing popularity of VRS, the demand for highly trained interpreters has never been greater. “This new award will recognize IEPs that go above and beyond routine training, those that provide extraordinary curriculum, learning and mentoring opportunities for their students.”Wakeland explains that award eligibility criteria have been designed to target (and encourage) such programs from among the approximate 150 IEPs nationwide. Criteria will apply to the graduating class of 2007, which will be judged in seven categories:
— VRS tracks offered
— Supervised practicum opportunities
— Mentorship opportunities
— Accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) or an initiative to track accreditation
— Proposed use of award funds
— The number of graduates that have either NAD-RID-National Certification tested or have received state quality assurance screening or certification at an advanced or higher level within six months of graduation
— The number of graduates gainfully employed in the field of interpreting by November 1, 2007, following graduation
The original deadline to apply for the SVRS IEP Award of Excellence was August 1, 2008. The deadline has been extended to August 29, 2008. Complete instructions can be accessed at http://www.sorensonvrs.com/IEP.
About Sorenson Communications
Sorenson Communications(TM) (www.sorenson.com) is a provider of industry-leading communications services and products. The company’s offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service(R) (SVRS), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the Sorenson (VP-100(R) and VP-200(R)) videophones; and Sorenson IP Relay(TM) (SIPRelay), enabling text-to-speech relay communication.