Hands on USF provides quality interpreting in the Tampa community

The Communications Sciences and Disorders Department has developed a mentorship program for the students in their Interpreter Training Track. According to their website, Hands on USF provides quality interpreting and mentoring services by having students work beside the most qualified and professional interpreters Tampa Bay has to offer.

Created in 2010, Hands on USF has since done a lot of work for the USF Community. They’ve provided interpreting services for USF’s Students with Disabilities Services, the Center for Student Involvement, and are the primary service provider for the USF Health System.

“We love to partner with any groups on campus,” Amanda David, Sign Language Interpreter and Coordinator for Hands on USF, said. “For example, last spring we partnered with the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies to produce an interpretive performance of their Vagina Monologues, and that’s something we anticipate doing again this year.”

Hands on USF provides a series of workshops for USF students as well as the interpreting community every year during the fall and spring  semesters. For the past two summers they’ve done a Deaf Lecture Series and brought in Deaf professionals to talk about their respective fields. This past summer’s Lecture Series included a woman who competed in the 1997 Deaflympics, as well as a gentleman who is Deaf and a Master Scuba Diver Instructor Trainer.

“We bring in these Deaf professionals in the summer to do some alternative language exposure for the students and the community,” David said, “and to showcase the fact that Deaf people do so many different jobs. There really aren’t any limits.”

Another event Hands on USF has held was Rolling out the Pink Carpet in the USF Marshall Student Center. They brought down a film about Deaf breast cancer survivors and had a panel discussion afterwards with Deaf cancer survivors from the Tampa Bay area. The money that was raised for that event went to the Florida Association for the Deaf; during their 2013 conference, these funds were used for a workshop on cancer education and awareness.

“We always try to give back to the Deaf community,” David said. “Our events here don’t just benefit us, they benefit our students and we hope they benefit the Deaf community as well. Our goal is to be a resource for continuing education for interpreters in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding communities.”