American Sign Language Interpreting students at William Woods University take courses like ASL 101 – Career Seminar to learn right from the start their various career options that allow them to communicate using ASL and work with and in service to Deaf people. One of which, may be a career in Career Development, helping Deaf people not only find jobs in the careers they want, but become successful leaders in the fields they are passionate about.
In ASL 321 – Sociological Perspectives on Deaf Education, American Sign Language students learn about Deaf educational systems in the United States, their history and how it currently works to provide for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Students learn about various laws in place but find various shortcomings in accommodation, education and career development.
Deaf Americans continue to be employed at rates much lower than the rest of the population. Many Deaf students do not have the resources — human or financial — to acquire the tools that lead to careers in management, science, technology, engineering, and whatever else they dream. American Sign Language professionals can look to put their skills as an interpreter to use in a position like career counseling or advising — helping Deaf individuals develop the right skills and establish the right connections.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology established the National Science Foundation-funded Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students (aka DeafTEC) to serve as a resource for high schools, community colleges, and employers to get a greater number of Deaf people into STEM careers.
DeafTEC received $4 million last week from the National Science Foundation to continue working toward its “goal of building a professional community that will improve access to technological education and employment for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students,” an RIT press release says.