April 17, 2006

Italian and American sign language interpreters do dance
Imagine going to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. Now, imagine going to a foreign country when you’re deaf and your method of sign language is different than the country you’re visiting. How would you communicate?

Tina Perry, in red on left, watches as Chuck Gramly interprets information about Columbus State's ASL program to their Italian visitors.

Much in the same way that there is no universally spoken language, there is no universal sign language. According to Chuck Gramly, professor in Interpreting and Transliterating, “A few years ago, I went to an international deaf conference in Washington, D.C., at which approximately 30-plus sign languages were in use by deaf folks from around the world.”

Even with no universal language, for the past 16 years, the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Margarotto School for the Deaf at Rome, Padova, and Torino, Italy, have successfully communicated via spoken English and Italian and American Sign Language and Italian Sign Language.

Ten years ago, the schools formed a sister-school relationship, sharing guiding principles of bilingualism and intercultural communication. They collaborate on new technologies to create a direct communication link between the two schools, develop common projects involving students and teachers (such as a school newspaper produced in both Italian and English), create curricular and extracurricular programs for both schools, and provide mutual assistance for any problems arising from educational research studies.

Ferdinanda Pariciani, professor of French at the Margarotto School for the Deaf, interprets in Italian, while Tina Perry interprets in English.

As part of the ongoing partnership, every two years, students from one school travel to visit the other school. This year, the Margarotto School for the Deaf visited the Ohio School for the Deaf and as part of that visit experienced living with a deaf family in Ohio for a weekend.

“I adopted two deaf Italian girls at my house for the weekend as a deaf single mother,” says Dawn Watts, an adjunct faculty member in the Human Services Department and an employee at the Ohio School for the Deaf. “They enjoyed eating American foods of chuck roast, hamburgers and french fries, loved cutting the lawn with the lawn mower since they don’t have grass at their homes, and couldn’t believe American cars were automatic.” Watts continues, “They couldn’t believe that Holy Cross Church for the Deaf has a deaf pastor for their own service, instead of a hearing person.”

In addition to the weekend living experience, Watts coordinated the Italian student’s visit to Columbus State.

On April 5, 20 students and 10 staff members from the Margarotto School for the Deaf visited Columbus State to learn more about the college’s Interpreting/ASL Education program and visit with Disability Services. According to Chuck Gramly, professor in Interpreting and Transliterating, “Apparently, they have no formal system of interpreter education in Italy. The adults in the group were intrigued by the depth of our training and the preparation of our students for the rigors of interpreting.”

Tina Perry, faculty member in Interpreting and Transliterating, discussed Columbus State and the program offerings in ASL and interpreting, while Gramly discussed the college in general, as well as specifics about ASL classes and curriculum and the process of becoming an educational interpreter.

Students and staff from the Margarotto School for the Deaf in Italy enjoy touring the campus with Columbus State faculty.

How was the spoken and interpreted language barrier broken?

Perry and Gramly presented in American Sign Language while an interpreter from the Ohio School for the Deaf spoke in English what they were signing to an Italian interpreter. He then translated the English message into spoken Italian while the Italian sign interpreter signed the message into Italian Sign Language.

During this complex communication process, Gramly says, “Our interpreting students were absolutely mesmerized by the experience.” He continues, “One of the Italian students inquired if Tina and I were deaf, and when we responded no, that we were both normal hearing, the students seemed impressed.”

In thanks for their efforts, the Margarotto school’s principal presented Columbus State faculty with an Italian calendar, a book about the recent Olympics, and a book written in Italian for the college library.

B&I/Language Institute teach Somali culture to JC Penney supervisors

Adam O'Hirsi, instructor for the Language Institute, center, enjoys a moment with the supervisors in his Somali culture class at the JC Penny Catalog Distribution Center.
Business and Industry Training Services in collaboration with the Language Institute provided Somali culture and language training for the supervisors at JC Penney Catalog.

James Kalna, training consultant in B&I, and Tara Narcross, coordinator of the Language Institute, worked closely with the company's supervisors to provide a 16-hour training curriculum that would help them:
• Increase their understanding of the growing Somali workforce.
• Enhance cooperation and teamwork between supervisors and workers.
• Increase compliance to work standards and company policies.
• Increase efficiencies in work and job explanation, on-the-job training, and general communication.

“The training was so popular and successful that the supervisors have cited significant improvements in communication, morale, and job understanding and compliance,” says Kalna. “The training was so successful that follow up training is now being planned.”

Erney receives Distance Learning Association’s Wagner Award
Tom Erney, dean of Instructional Services, was awarded the Distance Learning Association's 2006 Wagner Award for Innovation in Distance Learning Administration.

The award is a broad category award recognizing an individual's development of innovative solutions to the challenges of distance education, which include maintaining the core values of higher education, training issues, retention, evaluation, assessment, student and faculty support, and online services.

Erney will receive the award at the DLA conference June 4-7 in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Howard named to Who’s Who
Marilyn Howard, assistant professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been named to the Who’s Who of American Women for 2006. The recognition comes from the publishers of Who’s Who in America, the chronicle of American achievement since 1899.

New Mileage chart available online
The Travel office has published a mileage chart for travel from main campus to selected off-campus sites. Examples of mileage include seven miles to Bridgeview, 22 miles to the Tolles Center, and 16 miles to the Westerville Center.

The chart also lists mileage from site to site. From the Westerville Center to the Delaware Center is 11 miles, and from the Westerville Center to the Dublin Center is 16 miles.

For more mileage information, take a look at the chart posted on the intranet under "forms" or go to http://intranet.cscc.edu/Forms/Mileage%20chart.doc.

If you have questions about the chart, contact Betty Sugar at ext. 2421 or Brad Farmer at ext. 2641 in the Travel office.

In-Service Day reminders
Call for Presentations:
The April 19 deadline for In-Service Day presentations is rapidly approaching. To submit a presentation, complete the presentation document and email to: igroup@cscc.edu.

Volunteers Needed—No Experience Required:
Volunteers are needed for Spring In-Service Day. If you are interested, complete the online form at http://cscc.edu/inservice/volunteer.shtm. There will be a short volunteer training meeting at 3 p.m. May 3 in Nestor Seminar Room A.

In-Service Day Award Recipients:
Verify your name on the award list. Please check the list of service award recipients to verify that your name appears appropriately at http://cscc.edu/inservice/awards.shtm.

RSVP for the awards ceremony. Use the link that follows to indicate whether you will participate in the ceremony: http://cscc.edu/inservice/rsvp.shtm.