Augustana American Sign Language Interpreting Program Earns National Award

Student practice sign language

Augustana University’s Interpreter Education Program (IEP) has received the SVRS® Excellence and Innovation in Interpreter Education Award for the 2015-2016 academic school year. The honor is awarded by Sorenson Communications, LLC, the company that revolutionized Video Relay Service (VRS) communication for Deaf people and will be presented at the upcoming Conference of Interpreter Training, set for Oct. 26-28 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Each academic year, Sorenson recognizes one outstanding IEP that exceeds typical educational standards, leverages technology and incorporates interaction with the Deaf community in its program. 

Augustana IEP officials said the University is fortunate to have the support of both the state of South Dakota and its Deaf community. Augustana staffs its language lab with deaf staff members who mentor interpreting students seven days a week.

“I tell students when they enroll in our IEP that they should be prepared to change their lifestyles. We want to ensure they know, before they get here, that this is a commitment to a culture,” said IEP director Marlee Dyce.

Sorenson founded the SVRS® Award of Excellence and Innovation in Interpreter Education Award to recognize IEPs working to raise interpreter education standards. Since 2009, Sorenson has supported this program to enhance the overall quality of professional interpreting, and to give back to the Deaf community.

The award is open to all two- and four-year degree-granting IEPs in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Award winners are showcased among their peers at the Innovator Showcase March 3-4 in Salt Lake City. Winners also receive a monetary grant as well as materials to reinvest in their programs.

About Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications, LLC® is a provider of industry-leading communication products and services for the deaf. The company's offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service®  (SVRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the Sorenson ntouch®  VP videophone, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; ntouch®  PC, software that connects users to SVRS by using a PC and webcam; ntouch®  for Mac®, software that connects users to SVRS by using an Apple®  computer; ntouch®  Tablet, which turns the Apple iPad®  or Android tablet into a larger-screen mobile VP; and ntouch®  Mobile, an application empowering SVRS communication via mobile devices.