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The RIT/NTID starts new program for interpreters of color

Written by on February 7, 2020

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) has a new program in place that will help train more people of color and help them with job placement.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf reports that out of 10,000 people who are registered as sign language interpreters, 1,300 of them are persons of color.

The program, entitled the Randleman Program, is named after Valerie Randleman, who was the first black interpreter in RIT’s Department of Access Services. The two-year program is designed to meet challenges in diversity so that more interpreters of color may find job opportunities and be successful.

Students who go through the program will receive one-on-one help from a mentor. They will also attend small group meetings and participate in professional development activities that will help build their interpreting skills as well as their confidence.

The Randleman Program was started last year, and since then, the number of Black and Indigenous People of Color Interpreters that are enrolled in the department has increased from 8 to 14 percent.

The Randleman Program will hold a symposium next month that will welcome and honor interpreters from all over the United States.

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