Mission, Philosophy and Goals

The mission, philosophy, and goals of the Interpreter Education Program are in alignment with those of the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation.


The UA Little Rock Interpreter Education Program prepares interpreters and transliterators of American Sign Language (ASL) and English, oral transliterators and interpreters for persons who are DeafBlind to work in a variety of community settings with diverse populations. The program assumes a leadership role in disseminating knowledge, resources, and service to the Arkansas community, to the region, and throughout the United States.


The Interpreter Education Program recognizes the dignity and value of the Deaf community and the languages and communication modes used by its members. American Sign Language is a living language and the program faculty is dedicated to instructing individuals as to its origin, grammatical structure, and use. Recognizing that language is an integral part of culture, program faculty believes in the active involvement of Deaf ASL users as language models, instructors, guest speakers, and lab assistants.

Active involvement and social interaction with members of the Deaf Community by students is expected. Students have the responsibility to comply with the ethics and standards of the profession and to model the principles of the profession in their interaction with the Deaf community.


Seven central goals define the Program and learning environment, with five goals for learning by students and two program goals.

Goals for Learning by Students

  1. Students will acquire language proficiency in conversational American Sign Language, in written, spoken and signed English, and in the contact language varieties used by persons who are hearing, Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard of Hearing.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and application of the unique body of knowledge related to the field of sign language interpretation including history of current practices, interpreter role and responsibilities, theories and models of interpretation, ethics, credentials, business practices, management of physical settings and commitment to and use of technology.
  3. Students will assess and apply different modes of interpreting and transliterating (simultaneous and consecutive) and different target language forms (e.g., ASL, spoken or signed English, tactile language) in order to transfer a message from the source language into the target language without distortions, additions, omissions or undue influence from the source language for multicultural consumers of varying ages in a variety of settings (schools, agencies, government, rehabilitation, hospitals, etc.).
  4. Students will demonstrate ethical and cultural competence and multicultural sensitivities when interpreting between and among users of ASL and English in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings and cross-cultural interactions.
  5. Students will demonstrate the attitudes and skills expected of professionals including knowledge of research protocol, ability to analyze research studies and apply results to interpretation practice, ability to plan for lifelong learning, and participation in professional organizations.

Programmatic Goals

  1. To increase the supply of skilled oral, sign language, and tactile interpreters who are fluent in American Sign Language and English, to serve Arkansas, and the nation as interpreters for persons who are hearing, Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard of Hearing.
  2. To serve as a resource center for the provision of consultation and in-service training regarding interpreting, deafness, and accessibility issues.