ASL Practitioners Take Their AHEC Training to the Workplace

by AhecAdmin on November 17, 2011

Eighteen participants attended the Medical Classifiers Level 1 Sign Language Interpreter Workshop on Oct. 28 – 30, 2011, at Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC, a course provided by Upstate AHEC.  Participants were provided an opportunity to learn and practice their work as medical classifiers in American Sign Language (ASL). The course emphasized complex medical terminology, infections, diseases, medications, tests and procedures, as well as an analysis and discussion of ethics related to the field of medical interpreting. The training was open to interpreters who currently work in the field or who are interested in medical sign language interpreting.  The workshop was presented in American Sign Language with no voice interpretation.  Participants were able to discover linguistically appropriate avenues for representing human anatomy, medication, clinical equipment, and medical procedures in ASL.  As a result of attending the program, participants will integrate this training into their daily medical interpreting practice, leading to improved patient and practitioner communication.

The presenter, Nigel Howard, BA, BCIT, is a world-renown presenter of deaf-related topics, specializing in medical interpreting.  He is an ASL instructor at Douglas College, British Columbia, Canada in the Department of Sign Language Interpretation.  He also teaches in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  A Deaf Interpreter for more than 15 years, he has conducted workshops on Interpreting development and professionalism in Canada, Japan, England, South Africa, and South America.  Additionally, he has co–authored ASL Medical Interpreting courses and presented them throughout Canada and the United States. Nigel is a member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI).

Below are a few of the participant’s comments as noted on the program evaluations:

The speaker, Nigel Howard was an astounding speaker. His vast knowledge of Anatomy and Medical Procedures were incredible. I am looking forward to taking the Medical Settings Level 2 seminar.

Nigel was great. I have applied things I learned from the course during every interpreting assignment I’ve had since the course. This was the first time that most of the participants had any formal education in medical sign language. If the course had been another 3 days everyone would have stayed. We were being taught how to do correctly what we had been doing on our own for many years. It was priceless

The workshop was excellent.  I hope Nigel Howard will return to teach level 2 and 3.

This professional development opportunity was one of the most challenging and intense I have participated in. Nigel’s wealth of experience, creative teaching strategies and advanced knowledge of the content area are unparalleled.  Many thanks to AHEC for providing such an advanced level of training that is sorely lacking in such vital area. I left feeling confident, inspired and excited to implement the skills I acquired and an awareness of the areas of growth that need my attention. Nigel has my utmost respect and is an invaluable resource to the Deaf and interpreting communities!

This was one of the BEST workshops I have EVER attended!

Wow- this presenter and his workshop were absolutely fantastic – perhaps the best workshop I have ever taken! I hope he is able to come in the future for his ‘Level 2’ workshop.

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