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 June 1. Applicants will receive an email by June 30 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.) Should you need an accommodation, please contact Jeni Rodriguesi at jlrnss@rit.edu. This certificate program upholds nondiscriminatory practices and encourages a learning environment which is free from bias and promotes mutual respect.

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 application form to apply for acceptance into the NTID Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting program.

CHI Application Form

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:

  • September 1, 2024 - first installment or full tuition
  • January 31, 2025 - second installment

For credit card payment, Go to CHI Payment   

For other payment methods, please contact Bre Haywood (bre.haywood@rit.edu).

Program Personnel

Jeni Rodrigues, PhD, NIC-Adv. CI/CT, NAD IV has been a nationally certified signed language interpreter for over twenty years with specialized training in healthcare and mental health interpreting. Dr. Rodrigues earned her master’s degree in Interpreting Pedagogy from Northeastern University in 2011 and she completed her PhD in Interpreting from Gallaudet University in 2022. Her work explores access barriers deaf patients face in healthcare settings. Dr. Rodrigues is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Healthcare Interpreting Programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, in the department of ASL and Interpreting Education.

Robyn K. Dean, CI/CT, PhD has been a nationally certified signed language interpreter for over thirty years with particular service in the field of healthcare. Her scholarship in decision-making and ethics in community interpreting is recognized internationally. Dr. Dean has over twenty publications, all of which focus on the theoretical and pedagogical frameworks used to advance the practice of community interpreters. Dr. Dean is currently an Associate Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is the lead instructor on the institute’s postgraduate degree in healthcare interpretation.

Contact Us

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