American Sign Language: DC Public Schools

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Creating the ideal student-interpreter match

Opportunity

Serving nearly 50,000 students with diverse backgrounds and abilities, District of Columbia Public Schools is committed to giving every student equal access to a high-quality education. To better serve its deaf and hard-of-hearing learners, DCPS looked to ContextGlobal, which already was providing interpretation and translation services for the District.

Solution

ContextGlobal initially provided ASL interpreters on an as-needed basis for three years. In 2014, however, DCPS sought a more expansive, full-time ASL escort program to meet students’ individual education plan (IEP) requirements. When considering ideal conditions under which students could thrive, ContextGlobal believed that continuous access to the same interpreter would create the most favorable learning environment.

ContextGlobal reviewed the IEPs of all students to match them with the best-suited interpreters. In addition, the company hired all interpreters providing full-time services as employees, helping to ensure each student served would receive uninterrupted support.

Results

  • The ASL escort program has helped to create a more stable, supportive, learning environment for DCPS students.
  • DCPS has renewed the program because of its positive impact on deaf and hard-of-hearing learners.
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