The Pennsylvania Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf


American Sign Language (ASL) is spoken by many Deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and Canada. It is a complete language with its own grammar and syntax. It is not merely pantomime nor is it English using the hands. It is not universal. Interpreters use American Sign Language and spoken English to communicate. Interpreting refers to the transfer of communication between languages, while maintaining each speaker’s intent.

Individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing use ASL in many situations where verbal language is difficult to understand such as lectures, theatrical shows and conferences.

American Sign Language Interpreters:

  • Can work before large & small audiences
  • Have expert proficiency and speed in languages
  • Have a great store of knowledge in their short and long-term memory
  • Are curious lifelong learners
  • Use the tone, register, words and nuances of the original speaker
  • Use consecutive and simultaneous interpretation techniques

Interpreters are:

  • Comfortable working in teams
  • Willing and able to travel
  • Flexible
  • Reliable and professional
  • Independent decision-makers
  • Creative

Above information excerpted from the website:

Those wishing to become Sign Language Interpreters are encouraged to pursue a two or four year college degree. Pennsylvania has three Interpreter Training Programs located at:

Bloomsburg UniversityMt. Aloysius College and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Please visit Discover Interpreting to find detailed information on becoming an American Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf!

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