Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting (Non-Credit)

The non-credit Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting (CHI) program is taught exclusively online and will run from September – May. CHI provides specialized professional development to ASL/English interpreters in the area of healthcare interpreting, and employs innovative teaching by nationally recognized healthcare experts combined with practical application within healthcare environments.

The online application deadline is March 30, 2022. Applicants will receive an email by April 30, 2022 with a decision on their application status.

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ASLIE is an Approved RID CMP Sponsor for continuing education activities. The Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting is a Professional Studies (PS) program offering up to 16.5 CEUs at the Some Content Knowledge Level.​ (The program also includes some instructional material which counts toward RID CMP’s Power, Privilege, and Oppression requirement.)

After completing this program the student will:

  1. Develop an understanding of basic healthcare systems, various venues where medical/psychiatric care is provided, common diagnosis and treatments, institutional hierarchy and the roles and responsibilities of healthcare personnel.
  2. Develop an understanding of state and federal regulations regarding healthcare settings (e.g. liability, Department of Health regulations, HIPAA, ADA, hospital policies) and its impact on interpreters (external demands/interpersonal demands).
  3. Examine common human diseases from a systematic approach including etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
  4. Recognize general medical/psychiatric terms, procedures, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology in English and ASL.
  5. Recognize and appreciate the ways that medical terminology is used in medical and psychiatric settings.
  6. Discuss the meaning of a practice profession approach, working within the service of the goal of the environment, and professional responsibility.
  7. Recognize issues in the work environment that may create distress within oneself and employ strategies for dealing with feelings.
  8. Identify and discuss strategies and techniques that foster effective communication within healthcare environments.
  9. Discuss behaviors and practices that demonstrate respect for patients and healthcare providers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse beliefs and thought worlds.
  10. Develop an understanding of the common types of mental illness and the use of the DSM diagnostic criteria in the evaluation of patients.
  11. Identify the personal and professional demands that can occur in these settings and strategies leading to effective interpretations through the demand-control schema analytical construct.
  12. Understand the role and function of "Designated Interpreters" in healthcare settings.
  13. Understand common and complex therapeutic dynamics, especially third-party dimensions, and the interpreter's potential impact and interference on the therapeutic process/relationship.
  14. Analyze ethical dilemmas and apply ethical standards and practices via case conferencing and supervision.
  15. Examine how power, privilege and oppression impact the interpreted event.

The following criteria will be used to select applicants to participate in this program:

  • Applicants must have interpreter certification OR (at minimum) have taken and passed the RID Knowledge exam.
  • Applicants must have experience working as an interpreter in healthcare settings.
  • Applicants must agree to complete the entire program including the prerequisite online course.

This program includes approximately 160 hours of online instruction.

This program runs from September – May

Courses Offered:

  • Medical terminology (online prerequisite completed by June 1)
  • Healthcare Practical Interpreting/Human Body Systems

The prerequisite medical terminology course is $109.95. The cost for the Certificate Program is $1,600, which includes books.

You will need a high-speed internet connection, a microphone and a webcam.


Students will complete an online course on medical terminology (e.g. Language of Medicine). This course emphasizes etymology, definition, pronunciation and correct utilization of medical terms. This course will enable students to develop a vocabulary essential to the understanding of the language used by medical professionals. Students will provide NTID's Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education with a copy of proof of completion before starting the program.

This course will expose interpreters to the broad array of medical settings, medical professionals, common medical service protocols, and the federal regulations and policies impacting communication access and the work of interpreters. In addition to the broadly defined medical interpreting objectives, the course also addresses the theoretical constructs and the approach to the practice of interpreting based on the demand-control schema. This course will expose interpreters to the typical diagnostic and treatment dialogues or clinical "scripts" of common conditions, diagnoses and initial presenting complaints. Exposure to this new content knowledge happens via observations of medical student practice dialogues with simulated patients and other problem based learning activities. English to ASL skill development activities will be employed using materials from the CATIE Center.

This course will provide interpreters with a strong foundation in Human Body Systems.  Students will learn anatomy and physiology (structure and function), specialized terms, health care provider specialties, medical tests, procedures and equipment, common medications, and common conditions/diseases for each body system.  The course will emphasize understanding the realities of interpreting practice, while recognizing discrepancies between known and unknown knowledge stores.  Through this process, interpreters will learn to recognize unfamiliar medical terms, constructs, and jargon in order to better navigate within healthcare systems.

Apply Online

You may use the online form to apply for acceptance into the NTID Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program.

Program Payment

If you have been accepted into the NTID Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program, you may pay your tuition online by credit card.

The full cost for the Certificate Program is $1600.

You may pay for the Certificate program in full ($1600), or pay in two installments of $800. The due dates for payments are:

  • June 1, 2022 - first installment or full tuition
  • January 1, 2023 - second installment

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Program Personnel

Jeni Rodrigues has worked as an interpreter for over 20 years with specialized training in medical and mental health interpreting. Her dedication to the healthcare field was inspired by working with a deaf physician as her designated interpreter during her residency and fellowship training. Jeni is a full-time lecturer and the Director of Healthcare Interpreting Programs at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology in the department of ASL and Interpreting Education.

In addition to the Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program, Jeni also teaches core interpreting skills courses, as well as elective healthcare and mental health interpreting courses in the bachelor’s degree program. Jeni earned her master’s degree in Interpreting Pedagogy from Northeastern University in 2011 and has taught interpreting students for the past 9 years. She is a PhD candidate at Gallaudet University in the Department of Interpretation and Translation where she is completing her doctoral dissertation examining access to effective communication in US hospitals.

Robyn Dean has been an interpreter for over 25 years, with particular service experience in medical and mental health settings. She conducts workshops internationally on the topics of ethics, reflective practice, work effectiveness, with particular emphases on healthcare interpreting and professional development. Robyn’s demand control schema has been the topic of numerous presentations, publications, grant projects, and most recently a textbook which is being used in interpreter education programs across the globe. Robyn is currently on the teaching faculty as an assistant professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the department of ASL and Interpreter Education.

Robyn continues her research on ethics, decision-making, and moral development in community interpreting. Her doctoral dissertation examined the ethical discourse and justice reasoning abilities in sign language interpreters. Robyn completed her PhD in Translation and Interpreting from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland in June 2015. Her contributions to interpreter education was recognized in 2008 with the Mary Stotler Award, an award conferred every two years, conjointly, by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Conference of Interpreter Trainers.

Contact Us

Jeni Rodrigues, Program Coordinator and Instructor
ASL and Interpreting Education
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
60 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623
585-975-9353 (v), 585-301-4083 (vp)