Article: Sorenson Communications Partners with Ohlone College to Provide Real-World Mentoring and Web-Based Interpreter Training - Deaf Studies Division in the News

Sorenson Communications Partners with Ohlone College to Provide Real-World Mentoring and Web-Based Interpreter Training

Partnership Broadens Training Experiences to Address Interpreter Shortage

Monday, December 3, 2007 Press release: Sorenson Communications.

Salt Lake City (Dec. 3, 2007) - Sorenson Communications™, the leading provider of Video Relay Services (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL), today announced a partnership with Ohlone College, in Fremont, California, to provide a deaf language mentorship program for Ohlone students and to jointly utilize Ohlone's Web-based training system, WebCT, to provide a more extensive training experience for interpreters working for Sorenson VRS (SVRS).

The partnership will provide Ohlone students the opportunity to participate in mentorship opportunities at the college level in conjunction with the Sorenson Professional Development Department. This mentorship will provide hands-on interpreter training experience and intensified exposure to native ASL, working directly with professional language mentors. Additionally, the program will provide a partial scholarship to students who are in the Interpreter Preparation Program at Ohlone to help defray education and living expenses.

"Our objective is to significantly increase the number of interpreters who can qualify for Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification within two to three years of finishing the program. This partnership will play an important role in meeting that goal," says Joe McLaughlin, dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services division for Ohlone College. "We are grateful for the scholarships, as we know they will help some of our students. They receive hands-on exposure to the latest VRS technology and the ability to learn professional interpreting techniques is a great benefit to these students."

The two organizations will also work to broaden the use of Ohlone's WebCT for training. Sorenson Communication's Professional Development Department will draw on its deep base of interpreting and training experience to contribute resources that will provide additional real-world training options, including the use of Sorenson videophones for students to communicate with their mentors.

"Ohlone's program is very strong, especially in preparing students for professional interpreting careers," said Ron Burdett, vice president of Community Relations for Sorenson Communications and a former dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services at Ohlone College. "Sorenson Communications is pleased to partner with Ohlone to address the current and future projected shortage of qualified interpreters."

For more information on the Ohlone College Interpreter Preparation Program, visit or call 510-659-6269.

About Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications™ ( is a provider of industry-leading communications services and products. The company's offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service (Sorenson VRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the Sorenson (VP-100® and VP-200®) videophones; Sorenson IP Relay™ (SIPRelay), enabling text-to-speech relay communication; and Sorenson Video Remote Interpreting™ (VRI), a fee-based remote interpreting service.