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UNF ASL/English interpreting named one of six best programs in nation

The University of North Florida’s ASL/English Interpreting Program was recently named by Hands Up Communications as one of the six best interpreting programs in the country. 

Hands Up Communication provides interpretation, translation and transcription assistance to businesses and organizations. The company was started by UNF alumni Joseph Featherstone, CEO and owner of Hands Up Communications. He received his Master of Science in ASL/English Interpreting and Interpreting Pedagogy from UNF in 2015.  

Through a partnership with GoReact, a software company that helps teach performance-based skills online, Featherstone evaluated over 120 interpreting programs across the United States, ranking the top six interpreter programs based on various teaching methodologies, program effectiveness and student outcomes. 

“The curriculum at UNF is meticulously crafted to ensure a comprehensive development of interpretation skills,” said Featherstone. “It encompasses a wide array of subjects, from the core principles of interpreting to advanced topics like technology in interpretation and specialized areas such as legal and medical interpreting.” 

UNF’s interpreting program is recognized for the faculty’s diverse backgrounds that ensure students receive a well-rounded education with theoretical knowledge about the field of interpretation and insights from real-world practice. 

“While recognition such as this is always appreciated, a Deaf-owned company identifying us as one of six top schools is particularly meaningful,” said Dr. Len Roberson, UNF ASL/English interpreting professor and program director. 

Among the programs listed, UNF is one of only two accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) and is the only CCIE-accredited program in Florida. This accreditation recognizes institutions and professional programs for their level of performance, integrity and quality within the educational community and the public audiences served. Programs with CCIE accreditation have undergone a rigorous evaluation process, including assessments of feedback mechanisms, up-to-date resources and the quality of internship programs.