Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting (Non-Credit)

Program now open to working pre-certified interpreters!

RIT/NTID announces the non-credit "Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting" (CHI) program for 2020-2021. The program is a blended format consisting of a consolidated, week-long face-to-face classroom experience and online learning components. 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 1, 2020. Applicants will receive an email by March 15, 2020 with a decision on their application status.

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 written exam.
  • Applicants must have previous experience (staff or freelance) 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 classroom and online instruction.

June 1 - 5, 2020 on site at NTID

June 15, 2020 – February 2021 online

The program includes:

  • Medical terminology (online prerequisite must be completed by 6/1/20)
  • Healthcare Practical Interpreting — online and in classroom

Upon completion, the student is awarded a Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and will earn up to 16 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

The prerequisite medical terminology course is $99.95. 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.

You may pay for lodging at the Radisson Inn for the onsite week (May 31 – June 4, 2020), either for single or double occupancy.


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.

The program 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.

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 here by credit card for...


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:

  • April 1, 2020
  • August 1, 2020


You may pay for lodging at the Radisson Inn for the onsite week (May 31 – June 4, 2020), either for single or double occupancy.

Program Personnel

Kathy Miraglia has more than 35 years of experience as an interpreter, manager, and educator in the field of sign language interpretation. She managed the Interpreter Services Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center for 23 years before joining the full-time faculty at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in fall 2009. Kathy was the principal investigator on the national grant Speaking Together from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation aimed at developing best practices for Language Access Programs in hospitals across the United States She is also the Program Director for the newly created MS in Health Care Interpretation.

Kathy holds a master's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in Career and Human Resource Development and the Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Contact Information:
Phone: (585) 475-5441

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.

Jeni Rodrigues has worked as an interpreter for 20 years, primarily focused in healthcare, mental health, VRS, and performance settings. For the past 4 years, Jeni worked with a deaf physician during her residency and fellowship training, as her designated interpreter. Jeni joined the teaching faculty in the department of ASL Interpreting Education as a full-time lecturer at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology Fall 2018. Jeni teaches Introduction to Healthcare Interpreting and Introduction to Mental Health Interpreting, in addition to core interpreting skills courses in the bachelor’s degree program.

Jeni is a Ph.D. candidate at Gallaudet University in the Department of Interpretation and Translation. She is currently conducting an institutional ethnography for her doctoral dissertation, examining access to effective communication in U.S. hospitals. Jeni also holds a master’s degree in Interpreting Pedagogy from Northeastern University.

Contact Us

Kathy Miraglia, M.S., C.S.C.
ASL and Interpreting Education
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604
Fax 585-475-5269