Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Administrators with the Sign Language Interpreting program at Tarrant County College said they are on a recruiting blitz to train more professional sign language interpreters, and they are getting a little extra help from all the recent Oscars buzz surrounding the movie “CODA.”

CODA is an acronym that stands for Children Of Deaf Adults and the movie highlights the struggles that deaf and hard-of-hearing families face daily.

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TCC officials say the movie has brought to light that there are too few interpreters in the state of Texas. They are hoping the conversation will lead to much more interest in the field.

Cheryl Sohns is a professor in the program and said they are already seeing an increase in interest. “I would say it’s causing classes to increase. A lot of students in the classes saw the ‘CODA’ story and that it won. That’s going to increase the number of people that might be interested in coming into the profession.”

TCC is only 1 of 4 accredited colleges in the country that offers a professional interpreter degree in 2 years. They estimate that in Texas, there is only 1 interpreter for every 600 deaf or hard of hearing individuals.

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Randal King is also a professor in the program and said interpreters are needed in all kinds of settings. “For example, in the hospital. It’s so important to have an interpreter there or for a doctors appointment, you know? If they can’t find an interpreter the doctors appointment has to be rescheduled.”

Sohns added, “Interpreters are not just helpers. Interpreters are language facilitators, and it’s important that they are properly trained.”

Both King and Sohns said the career is not just in demand, but also very rewarding.

King said, “I mean, interpreters here do well. They are very successful.”

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Sohns followed up by saying, “They could make a very good living. They need really good skills.”


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