Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Syllabus – Fall Quarter 2012


Course Title:  Introduction to Deaf-Blind Interpreting, ITP 220

Credits:  2

Class Hours:  Mondays and Wednesdays 9AM-12:00 Noon September 24-October 17, 2012

Classroom: BE#1148

Instructor:  Brenda Aron

Office: BE#1123, Hours:  Please make an appointment.

Phone: (206) 452-5097

E-mail: for homework/paperwork

For immediate information, use:

 E-mail is preferable


Prerequisites: To be eligible for ITP 220, you must meet one of the following conditions:

Course Description: This course focuses on the specialist skills needed for Deaf-Blind interpreting. Cultural norms and etiquette, tactile modifications of ASL, commonly used communication modes, interpreting visual information, and environmental consideration for the interpreter are emphasized through interactive instruction, simulations, guided interpreting practice, and blindfold experiences.


Course Purpose and Program Outcomes:  The purpose of this course is to prepare students with essential skills needed for Deaf-Blind interpreting and to develop competency and versatility in a variety of communication modes.


Instructor’s Educational Philosophy:  The instructor is committed to a nurturing classroom where students can feel comfortable during the awkward stages of new skill development.  The instructor place special emphasis on analytical skills, cultural respect, curiosity, self-discovery, excitement and zest for learning. 


Student Outcomes/Competencies:  By the end of the course students will have basic level competencies:

METHODS OF INSTRUCTION:  Interactive teacher presentations and guest lecturers, simulations, guided blindfold practice, and guided interpreting practice.

LEARNING RESOURCES: SCCC provides support services to help students meet their educational goals:


Instructional Resource Center and ITP Lab: You may access DVD players in the ASL lab #1129 and cameras at ITP lab BE#1148.  The library also has books and DVDs available on Deaf-Blindness, Deafness and ASL.


ASL/ITP Lab:  Located in room BE #1129, the lab has an extensive library of videotapes.  Lab hours for Summer quarter is 12-2 PM Mon thru Thurs



  1. Guidelines: Practical Tips for Working and Socializing with Deaf-Blind People, Theresa Smith.  Sign Media, Maryland, 2002  ~Purchase at SCCC Bookstore Required 


  1. Oliver Sacks’ Documentary of Ushers’ Syndrome  people
  2. Any videotape about Deaf-Blindness


Books: (can be ordered through regular bookstores or the library)

Being in Touch, Gallaudet

Helen and Teacher, Joseph P. Lash

Independence without Sight and Sound: Suggestions for Practitioners Working with

                 Deaf-Blind People.  Dona Sauerburger.

Living with Deaf-Blindness:  Nine Profiles.  Carol Yoken.

Of Such Small Differences.  Joanne Greenberg

Usher’s Syndrome:  What It Is, How to Cope, How to Help.  Earlene Duncan, Hugh

 Prickett, Dan Finkelstein, McCay Vernon, Toni Hollingsworth.

Orchid of the Bayou: Living with Deaf Blindness. Kitty Fischer, et al.

Videotapes: various stories, documentaries on the Deaf-Blind. These are in two places: the ASL/ITP lab drawer or at SCCC Library


Required Materials: 


4GB + flashdrives: To record your work.


2.  Interpreter Attire for Communication Access:  Students need to wear appropriate clothing for communication access.  There will be guest presenters who are Deaf-Blind.  For students with light skin color, solid dark shirts (black, blue, green, brown) are most effective.  For students with dark skin color, solid light colors are best (beige, cream, tan or gray).


Solid colors provide optimum contrast.  Reds, maroons, yellows, and oranges are not acceptable nor are plaids and stripes as they cause eye strain and fatigue for people with Usher’s Syndrome.


3.  Earplugs:  Blindfolds and vision simulator goggles will be provided for the simulated interpreting practices.  Students are responsible for purchasing their own earplugs to be used throughout the course.  Please bring them to each class.


4.   Boldliner Pen:  This is a low tech print accommodation for Deaf-Blind people with Usher’s Syndrome.  For possible exchange of information with the Deaf-Blind instructor or guests or for in-class activities please bring one to each class. 


5. E-mail address: There will be communication via email and you will be required to have email access.  Teacher and student can exchange questions and answers via email and SSP/Interpreter Observation Opportunities will be sent out via email.  You may obtain an email address through SCCC’s Computer Lab if needed.



STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS:  Course format includes some lectures, but much of the class centers around discussion, small group experiences, simulations and interpreting practice.  Because learning is more effective and interesting as an active process, class attendance and participation are required aspects of this course.  Along with reading assignments, students will be expected to:


  1. Interact effectively using close vision communication, incorporating visual/environmental information and guiding techniques. one session will be evaluated.
  1. Interact effectively using tactile communication in class, incorporating visual/environmental information and guiding techniques. One session will be evaluated.
  1. Course Project: You have two options:

Option A: Read a book or article about 2 Deaf-Blind people (biography,

autobiography, or non-fiction only).

Option B: Interview 2 Deaf-Blind people with different communication


Type a 1-2 page paper. Compare and contrast those individuals’ lives, schooling, experiences, degree of independence; mobility, assistive devices & communication forms etc. You may include your observations from your own encounters with Deaf-Blind people. Due Monday, October 1, 2012


  1. A quiz, reflection analysis and final exam which will focus on content and knowledge for working and interpreting in the Deaf-Blind community. Reflection analysis due Thursday, October 17, 2012.



Deaf-Blind interaction skills, knowledge of the Deaf-Blind community, analytical thinking skills, and culturally respectful interaction and interpreting will be evaluated by performance work, community work, written work and culturally respectful behavior as outlined below.


Performance work = 100 points

Written Work = 100 points

Culturally Respectful Behavior = 10 points (2 pts each)

            Total: 210 points


FINAL GRADES will be determined using the following points system:


Points:                   Grade:             Letter              Grade Point

210-189                 100-90 %         A                     4.0-3.5

188-168                 89-80%            B                     3.4-2.9

167-147                 79-70%            C                     2.8 -2.5

146-126                 69-60%            D                     2.4 – 2.0

125-0                     59-0%              F                      1.9 -0


Course Adaptations and Accommodations:  If you need reasonable accommodations based on a documented disability, have emergency information to share or require special arrangements in case of emergency evacuation; please make a confidential appointment with me within the first two weeks of class.  For more information regarding support services or accommodations, call Disability Support Services at 587-4183, room BE 1112.


Absence Policy: As ASL is a visual language taught with a visual method, class attendance is essential to learning. Any absences can impede a student’s progress. However, some absences are unavoidable. You may have up to 1 absence without it affecting your grade. Students missing over 1 class will have 25 points deducted from their final grade. Students missing over 3 classes will have 50 points deducted from their final grade. Students who frequently miss parts of the class may have those hours totaled to count as absences from class.


Students shall be responsible for gathering all notes, materials and information missed during an absence. Any missed assignments or evaluations may not be able to be made up unless there is a good reason for the absence.




  SSP and Interpreter Observation Opportunities


1.  WSDBC (Washington State Deaf-Blind Citizens) This is a community based organization with many events and meetings in Seattle.  They have monthly Board Mtgs for good observations hours.  For picnics, committee meetings, and other events they often need interpreters/SSP’s. Contact:


WSDBC General Mtg is held quarterly every year and annual DB Summer picnics. More information on date, time and place will be forthcoming.  You are highly encouraged to make time to attend all or part of this meeting.  If you are interested in SSP/Interpret for this event you can contact Debbie Sommer at  


2. LH  (The Lighthouse for the Blind ***) – “PIE” and Shop Meetings with Deaf-Blind people.  Excellent interpreter observation opportunity! Call for date, time and approval to attend.


            -For Shop meetings (monthly, second Tuesdays 9-12noon), the contact person is    Sue Benson.† Her email is:


            -For PIE Mtgs you can contact their interpreter scheduler at or Johnnie Peterson:


3. The Lighthouse for the Blind – Deaf-Blind Community Class.  Selected Wednesdays from 5-7 PM.  Dates:  During Fall, Winter, Spring quarters.  Good place to practice interpreting with a variety of interpreters and meet Deaf-Blind people.  Also, they are often looking for Interpreters and SSP’s in classes.  To volunteer as SSP or interpreter or for inquiries: contact Paul Ducharme, and/or Tami Berk at (206) 436-2032 v/tty, Email:;


4.  Deaf-Blind Service Center (DBSC): Board Mtgs, Executive Committee Mtgs and Board Committee Mtgs.  (206) 323-9178 tty only or  Mtgs are usually at DBSC, 1620 18th Ave Suite 200, Seattle WA  98122.   Call for permission to attend as an observer.


5.  DBSC SSP program.  For a variety of SSP opportunities through DBSC or call DBSC at (206) 323-9178 tty only.  Elizabeth Bass at


General Information:  Deaf-Blind Service Center –

                                    Lighthouse for the Blind –


***The Lighthouse is a large industrial plant.  For safety reasons, they require people to wear closed toes shoes (no sandals).