The University of Northern Colorado, Department of American Sign Language & Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) under the leadership of Dr. Leilani Johnson has been awarded a $2M grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. UNC also contributed more than $185,000 to this project. This funding will be used over a five-year period between January 2017-December 2021.
Project CLIMB: Cultivating Legal Interpreters from Minority Backgrounds, co-directed by Erica West Oyedele and Amy Williamson, serves to increase the number of interpreters of color and heritage signing backgrounds by creating career paths for specialization in legal interpreting for practitioners from these underrepresented communities. Project CLIMB will focus on the delivery of educational opportunities for minority group interpreters, within communities of practice created by a critical mass of interpreters who share similar backgrounds. The Project’s core consultants provide expertise in legal systems, instructional design, delivery, and program evaluation. They are also predominantly individuals from minority backgrounds, helping to ensure that pedagogical practices and project delivery occur in ways that take into consideration skill development, as well as the psychosocial needs of Project CLIMB participants.
In addition to its communities of practice, Project CLIMB will offer participants a combination of online and face-to-face resources designed to prepare interpreters for working in the legal specialization. Stakeholder groups consisting primarily of individuals of the target population and those who work with consumers who stand to benefit the most by having access to interpreters of minority backgrounds working in the legal system have been engaged to provide their support to Project CLIMB. The work of the project also involves collaborative efforts and the support of the legal system and organizations working to ensure language access to the legal system such as the National Center for State Courts and state level judicial branch administrators.
It is anticipated that Project CLIMB will prepare over 150 interpreters of color and interpreters from heritage signing backgrounds for work in the legal setting over the life of this grant. In addition to these direct training opportunities, the Project CLIMB website (www.unco.edu/project-climb) will serve as an additional resource through the toolkits, media resources, and webinars that are developed and shared with the public as they become available. ...
Project CLIMB is a U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration grant aimed at increasing the number and diversity of certified interpreting specialists working in court and other legal settings.