SOURCE: Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications

October 17, 2012 13:16 ET

Sorenson Communications Chooses Tennessee Temple University as the Recipient of the Sorenson VRS IEP Award of Excellence

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - Oct 17, 2012) - Sorenson Communications congratulates Tennessee Temple University (TTU), located in Chattanooga, Tenn., as the recipient of the Sorenson VRS® (SVRS®) Interpreter Education Program (IEP) Award of Excellence. As the award recipient, TTU received a cash award that was invested into its IEP program as well as credits for educational materials to be used at Dawn Sign Press and Sign Media.

The SVRS IEP Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding American Sign Language (ASL) IEPs that incorporate Video Relay Service (VRS) instruction into their curriculum. The award also recognizes IEPs that continually recognize and respond to the broadening communication needs of the deaf community. Sorenson Communications is the largest employer of ASL interpreters in the United States.

TTU's IEP coordinator, Lisa Godfrey, says faith-based TTU fills a niche, both academically and spiritually and is one of only approximately 35 four-year degree ASL interpreting programs in the country. Godfrey is proud of the 100 percent placement rate for TTU graduates who want to go into interpreting. "We want to do everything we can to make TTU students ready to enter the workforce at graduation, including giving them the tools to function and succeed in the VRS setting," says Godfrey. 

Chris Wakeland, Sorenson Communications Vice President of Interpreting, commends TTU for the close relationships it fosters with Chattanooga's deaf community. "Involving TTU students in the deaf community creates a winning situation for everyone. Interpreting students acquire additional experience and confidence while the deaf community benefits from additional interpreters who accept jobs that otherwise would go unsupported." 

Linda Lawson, Program Manager of Chattanooga Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a non-profit organization, is also grateful for the five-year relationship between her organization and TTU. "We are a community-based interpreting referral agency. Originally, we invited students to observe what we do. Then I began to ask TTU if they had students who could interpret in nonthreatening assignments. It turned out to be a great idea for both of our organizations. I believe it helped students see that they could have a career in community-based interpreting, not just in education." 

In addition to the SVRS IEP Award of Excellence, Sorenson Communications seeks to raise the overall quality of ASL interpreting across the U.S. and Canada by sponsoring hundreds of interpreting workshops each year. The workshops provide required Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for professional interpreters who want to stay certified in ASL interpreting. These workshops are open to Sorenson and community interpreters alike. Sorenson Communications also founded and supports the VRS Interpreting Institute, which provides ongoing education for IEP graduates and interpreter and ASL educators. The SVRS IEP Award of Excellence will be presented to TTU in October at the Conference of Interpreter Trainers convention, in Charlotte, N.C.

About Sorenson Communications
Sorenson Communications® ( is a provider of industry-leading communications products and services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The company's offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the new Sorenson ntouch® VP videophone, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; ntouch® PC, software that connects users to SVRS by using a PC and webcam; ntouch® Mobile, an application empowering SVRS communication via mobile devices; and Sorenson IP Relay® (SIPRelay®), a text-to-speech relay service.