Public Health & Equity Sign Language Interpreter Program C.C.S.



The state's first interpreting program was established through an innovative partnership between Rhode Island College, the Rhode Island Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Rhode Island Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Providing Equity to the Deaf Community

In this new program, students will learn integrated approaches to interpreting in medical, mental health and behavioral health settings. In public health-care systems across the country, inequities exist for the Deaf community. Lack of access to health care and to culturally/linguistically competent professionals are core issues contributing to health outcome disparities. Bridging the cultural and communication gap between the Deaf community and health providers is paramount.

Public Health & Equity Sign Language Interpreter Program (PHESLIP) Instructors

Jeremy Quiroga

Jeremy Quiroga, MFA, CDI

Jeremy Quiroga, MFA, CDI continues to share his love of life and his language through workshops and performances nationally.  He started out as a medical interpreter by becoming the first staff CDI for the University of Rochester Medical Center. From that point forward medical interpreting became his focus. By combining his CATIE Center training, his ASL mastery skills & life experience, Jeremy provides interpreter workshops with a phenomenal range of tools for the medical setting. Currently, Jeremy works as VRI interpreter in medical setting. 

Carla Shird, MA, LPC, CDI

Carla Shird

Carla Shird is a certified deaf interpreter and a mental health therapist. She received her B.S. from Howard University in psychology and her M.A. in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University. Third is currently a freelance interpreter, therapist, mentor and presenter. She has expertise in providing workshops on diversity and privilege, consultation, mentorship and mental health counseling. She is passionate about helping people to create self-awareness, self-care and become more connected with themselves, others and their personal and professional goals.

Makoto Ikegami, DSW, MSW, LCSW

Dr. Makoto Ikegami

Dr. Ikegami teaches a Behavioral Health module in Rhode Island College's Public Health and Equity Sign Language Interpreting Program. He also teaches Diversity and Oppression in a Social Work Context at Arizona State University. He works as a private practitioner, providing tele-mental health services through National Deaf Therapy. Dr. Ikegami is the president of Deaf Access to Quality Life, an organization dedicated to improving accessibility to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. He is also a therapist at CaringWorks and offers substance abuse assessments, case management, individual and group psychotherapy, and crisis counseling. In addition, he maintains his licenses for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and New York.

Dr. Ikegami received his Master of Social Work (MSW) from Gallaudet University in 2009 and received his Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from Walden University in 2019. The title of his dissertation is Social Workers’ Experiences with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People with Mental Illness. He has made a numerous presentations related to addiction and mental health.

Dr. Ikegami serves as the President-Elect for The American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association. He also serves as an Alternate for National Association of Social Workers National Association of Social Workers. He serves as an Advisory Committee Member for BRIDGES Deaf Advocacy Program: Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Signed by Stories. Lastly, he is also a Founding Board Member for the National Asian Pacific Islander Deaf Coalition.

Questions & Answers

Applications will be received on a rolling basis until June 1.  Priority decisions will be offered to participants who apply by May 15. Participants should expect to hear within two weeks. Please apply as soon as you can as space is limited.

Current sign language interpreters who are both credentialed and pre-credentialed are eligible to apply. Historically underrepresented groups (Deaf Interpreters, BIPOC Interpreters, and Deaf-Parented Interpreters) are encouraged to apply.

Participants will complete a Certificate of Continuing Studies which is part of our Professional Studies & Continuing Education division at Rhode Island College.

Upon successful completion of all program components, participants will receive 12 RID CEUs at the end of the 9-month program.

The program is grant funded and covers the cost of tuition for all admitted participants. Participants will be responsible for a one year subscription fee for video assessment software in addition to costs associated with the one week in person residency.

The in-person program will run from August 13-18 in Providence, Rhode Island. The program will begin with a Kickoff event on Sunday, August 13 from 4-7pm. Daily programs begin on Monday, August 14, through Thursday, August 17, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Monday-Thursday evenings there may be optional social activities to encourage participants to get to know one another and experience the beauty of Rhode Island.  On Friday, August 18, the residency will conclude with a half day session from 8:30am-12:30pm.

American Sign Language will be used throughout the entire residency week.

At this time, boarding will be the responsibility of the participants. We have arranged for a discounted rate at Hotel Providence for this program. 

Safety of all staff and participants are of utmost importance.  At this time, the program complies with the Rhode Island College summer requirements which include social distancing, masks, and documentation of vaccination or negative test results in order to participate in campus events. Currently, hosting in-person events and the health protocol requirements associated with them is evolving. Thus, any updates will be provided upon admission as the summer progresses.

A light breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided during the residency week. Dinner will be considered on your own.

We plan to use Blackboard and GoReact. The GoReact fee will be the responsibility of each participant. 

The 9-month program begins with the in-person residency in mid August. Starting in late August, there will be three online modules focused on medical, mental and behavioral healthcare. Each module will be 9 weeks, with a two-week break in between each module. Coursework will be both synchronous (periodic zoom meetings) and asynchronous, and will require up to three hours/week to complete assignments. 

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Public Health & Equity Sign Language Interpreting Program (PHESLIP) Application

Program Information

About the program

The Rhode Island College Public Health & Equity Sign Language Interpreting Program provides **sign language interpreters, including interpreters who are Deaf, the opportunity to specialize in medical, behavioral, and mental healthcare interpreting. The 9-month program, focused on social justice and equity, offers in person and online (synchronous/asynchronous) coursework led by professionals with significant expertise in the field. 

Note: Completion of the program does not award certification to work in public health settings, nor guarantee overall readiness. Participants are encouraged to defer to their respective state laws, regulations, and requirements to seek specific and relevant guidance.

Details

A 120-hour program (12 CEUs) in public health sign language interpreting is designed to help you become more competent to work in public healthcare settings including hospitals, clinics, and community-based agencies. As a sign language interpreter you will extend your knowledge/ability to serve the Deaf Community through practical experiences that strengthen your public health competencies, which include:  

  • healthcare system knowledge and linguistic competency 
  • integrating consumer-focused care as part of public healthcare teams
  • understanding the intersection of justice, equity, & social determinants of health
  • recognizing and addressing barriers to quality healthcare
  • applying evidence based practices & ethical decision making 

Dates

9 month program; 120-hour program (12 CEUs). 

Program primarily conducted in American Sign Language with attention given to other natural sign languages.

Week long in-person residency begins August 13-18. 

  • The program will begin with a Meet and Greet evening on Sunday, August 13 from 4-7 p.m.
  • Daily programs begin on Monday, August 14, through Thursday, August 17, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Monday-Thursday evening there will also be optional social activities to get to know one another and to experience the beauty of Rhode Island.
  • On Friday, August 18, the residency will conclude with a half-day session from 8:30am-12:30pm.

End of August 2023-April 2024: Three online learning modules (9 week intervals)

Scholarships are available. 

Details

  • Current sign language interpreters who are both credentialed** and pre-credentialed are eligible to apply. Historically underrepresented groups (Deaf Interpreters, BIPOC Interpreters, and Deaf-Parented Interpreters) are encouraged to apply. 
  • Applicants 18 years or older, who have graduated from a U.S. high school or an equivalent educational program outside the United States.
Rhode Island College entrance

Contact Us

Office of Professional Studies and Continuing Education

Professional Studies and Continuing Education (PSCE) extends the educational offerings and resources of Rhode Island College (RIC) and provides administrative programming support and assistance to affiliated agencies and organizations on and off campus.