Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from S.M., New York

How can I become an interpreter for the deaf in the Binghamton, New York, area? I took ASL in high school and enjoyed it. I have been to Deaf Clubs but cannot find any now and would like to get back into it.

Question from S.M., New York. Posted January 9, 2012.
Response from Linda Siple - NTID

The place I would start is at the Southern Tier Independence Center, located in Binghamton. Their website is www.stic-cil.org. The relevant FAQ on their website is somewhat out of date, but it includes the following information (slightly edited here):

1. Where can I take sign language classes?
Sign classes are scheduled pretty regularly at Broome-Tioga BOCES and Broome Community College. Or, stop in and check out the bulletin boards in our Deaf Services area; we update them constantly with notices about sign classes and Deaf culture events in our region.
2. Where do I go for sign-language interpreter training?
There are two high-quality interpreter training programs within reasonable traveling distance of Binghamton:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY
Bloomsburg University
400 East 2nd. St.
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
http://www.bloomu.edu/asl
 
Our region has a severe shortage of qualified interpreters. STIC’s Interpreter Services Program is a dispatching service for interpreters working as independent contractors. Interpreting is a very demanding profession; we cannot use people who have just “taken a few sign classes”, but we are always looking for well-trained interpreters. We strongly encourage you attend one of these programs if you are interested in interpreting as a career.