ASL-English Interpreting

Bridge the Gap Between the Deaf and Hearing Worlds with an ASL-English Interpreting Degree

According to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), more than 28 million people in America depend on ASL-English interpreters to help bridge the gap between those who are Deaf and those who can hear. Interpreters work in a wide variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, businesses, courtrooms, counseling centers, and government agencies.

Keuka College’s ASL-English Interpreting program is geared toward students who excel in language, cultural awareness, and problem solving. Our graduates are prepared for professional work as interpreters working between American Sign Language and English.

student doing sign language

Real-World ASL Experience. Annually.

In addition to Keuka College's Field Period® program that will expand your skills and knowledge, you’ll benefit from a semester-long off-campus internship experience in approved settings of your interest. Here you will interpret under the guidance and supervision of certified mentors and participate in professional development activities. This emphasis on experiential learning means you’ll enjoy more than twice the practical experience of most other similar programs.

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Program Overview

As an ASL-English interpreting major, you'll be able to further the mission of agencies and organizations you may serve. You'll gain a solid foundation in Deaf culture and communication that will enable you to foster confident interaction among ASL and English speakers.

ASL courses are aimed at building ASL comprehension and production skills. ASL is a rich and complex language used by members of the Deaf community in the United States and most of Canada. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure, idioms, historical contexts, and cultural nuances.

Keuka College’s ASL courses foster an understanding of ASL/Deaf literature, linguistics, culture, and history. These courses are taken by ASL and ASL/English Interpreting majors alike.

ASL-English interpreting students start with language development and then move to translation, consecutive modes of interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting. Specialized settings are also a focus so that graduates are able to navigate a variety of interpreting settings, including medical, education, and human services.

ASL-English interpreters must be fluent in both ASL and English. The degree requires completion of courses in English linguistics and advanced writing. Interpreting with signed languages, just as with foreign spoken languages, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a sign representing that word.

With strong growth projected in employment opportunities for interpreters for the Deaf over the next several years, our ASL/English Interpreting degree will put you in demand. Keuka College is one of just two upstate New York campuses offering this highly specialized major. 

But don’t worry. Once you graduate, you’ll have the necessary preparation to immediately pass the written exam of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) interpreting certification exam. Interpreters who pass the written part of certification are eligible to complete the certification performance exams. We expect that our AEI graduates should be able to complete this credential within two years of graduation.


Learn More About the ASL-English Interpreting Program

Michael Fisher ’16

Visiting Assistant Professor of ASL - English Interpreting

Sharon Kocher

Associate Professor of American Sign Language

Academic Credentials

Rochester Institute of Technology
Gallaudet University


Sharon Kocher is currently an Associate professor for the ASL and ASL-English Interpreting Programs at Keuka College; where she teaches language development, Deaf Studies courses, and DeafBlind Translation.

Sharon received her BA in Communication Arts from Gallaudet University and an MS in Secondary Education with a specialization in ASL from National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where her master’s project thesis was entitled “A Professional Development Curriculum for Educators of Deaf Students: Comparative Linguistics”.

As a lifetime educator, Sharon has taught ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies to various kinds of audiences such as: adults, college Deaf and hearing students and Deaf and hearing school children (PreK-12) in community/school programs throughout western New York. She also has been actively involved with professional organizations in the local and national levels. Additionally, for more than 25 years, Sharon has been working as a DeafBlind interpreter.

Sharon’s passions are reading and crafts such as quilting, variety of stitching, woodworking, and painting. She loves being with and spending quality time with her three adult children.

Contact Information

Michael Fisher ’16

Visiting Assistant Professor of ASL - English Interpreting

[email protected]