The first 10 students graduating from the University of Louisville’s sign language program will participate in a recognition ceremony May 11 as well as the university’s May 12 morning commencement.
Members of the deaf community have been invited to attend the Friday ceremony, which will run from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Strickler Hall auditorium on UofL’s Belknap Campus. Speakers will include a professional interpreter and a member of the deaf community.
The American Sign Language Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) Program leading to a UofL bachelor’s degree was begun in 2010 to help provide access and equality for the deaf and hard of hearing. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics projected in 2007 that employment of interpreters would increase 24 percent during the next decade.
More than 50 UofL students now major in ASLIS, which is part of the classical and modern languages department in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The majors take American Sign Language classes initially and then move into specialized American Sign Language linguistic and interpreting courses. The seniors are required to complete more than 450 hours in an advanced interpreting practicum where they are placed with a nationally certified practicing interpreter.
Practicum sites included educational, medical and court settings.
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