DARS/DHHS Trilingual Interpreter Training

DARS/DHHS Trilingual Interpreter Training

DARS/Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) has Hispanic
trilingual interpreter training under way this week at SWCID in Big
Spring. This training, from July 20-25, is the second such trilingual
training offered by DARS-DHHS, and is a pioneering effort, since this
is a new interpreting specialty which involves interpreting between
three languages: ASL, Spanish and English. DHHS has partnered with
CSD, Sorenson Communications and SWCID to provide this highly
specialized training. In addition, Northeastern University/National
Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers contributed $12,000 toward
funding the program.

There are 42 participants enrolled in the program who come from
throughout Texas and from several states. They are mostly interpreters
who wish to uprgrade their skills either as trilingual interpreters or
want to prepare themselves for that specialty. All were required to
have skills for ASL, Spanish and English as a prerequisite for
acceptance into the program. Yolanda Chavira, a trilingual interpreter
who coordinates DARS-DHHS trilingual activities, recruited the staff
of 10, with each being assigned to a focus area for the training which
involves a unique combination of skills and knowledge. Randi Turner,
DARS-DHHS Training Coordinator, is facilitator for the training.

DARS-DHHS is a partner with the University of Arizona National Center
for Interpretation Testing, Research and Policy in developing Hispanic
trilingual interpreter certification tests. This project, “The Texas
Trilingual Initiative” is funded by a $500,000 grant from the United
States Department of Education and is nearing completion. Testing is
expected to begin in 2009, administered by DARS-DHHS, Board of
Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI). This interpreter testing program
will be the first in the world to test interpreting in three

The trilingual activities by DARS-DHHS are a response to needs
identified by a Trilingual Task Force which was established in 1994
and which included trilingual interpreters, Hispanic deaf consumers
and DHHS staff. Texas has 1,200 miles of border between the state and
Mexico and approximately 35 % of the state’s population are
Hispanic. In welcoming the participants to the trilingual training at
Big Spring, David Myers, DARS-DHHS Director, told the group assembled
that the DHHS training and test development activities were a response
to a Texas need. “Texas listens”, he said.

Partnerships for Independence

Division for Rehabilitation Services, Office for Deaf and Hard of
Hearing Services

PO Box 12904
Austin, Texas 78711
512-407-3250 Voice
512-407-3251 TTY
512-407-3299 Fax
David W. Myers, Director

1 comment for “DARS/DHHS Trilingual Interpreter Training

  1. Patricia Saray Borboa
    March 2, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    hello. I would like to know more information about the trilingual program that is suppose to start this year 2009. I am trilingual in English, Spanish and American sign language. please inform me as i am trying to get my career goals in order and i can benefit greatly from any information you are able to share with me. thanks a lot 🙂 602-751-1348

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