Introduction to VRS Interpreting:
A Curriculum Guide

With this curriculum, American Sign Language/English interpreting educators now have materials to orient students to the interpreting skills required for working in Video Relay Service and Video Remote Interpreting settings.The curriculum was designed to satisfy one- to three- credit-hour courses.

Acceptable use of curriculum and videos:

Instructors using Introduction to VRS Interpreting: A Curriculum Guide are granted permission to use all materials for the purpose of teaching interpreting in VRS and VRI settings. Curriculum may not be used for individual profit. The curriculum is introductory only and should not be used to train students for immediate employment in VRS and VRI settings.

VRS video vignettes included with Introduction to VRS Interpreting: A Curriculum Guide are designed for use within the context of the curriculum. Vignettes are designed for student practice during class or as homework. To preserve the integrity of the course resources, instructors should share the links or other vignette access with discretion.

Read this first!

Read this first!

This document provides an overview of the curriculum with helpful information on contents and how to use the curriculum.

Sample Syllabus

Sample Syllabus

A sample syllabus for this course can be downloaded and customized to include specific information, including individual college and course requirements.

Full Curriculum

Download the Full Curriculum Guide

To download the entire curriculum (not including PowerPoint presentations and readings) as one complete document, click on this document and print.


Purchase the Full Curriculum Guide

This printed, bound copy of the curriculum contains all 15 lesson plans for just $24.99. Accompanying course materials will continue to be available on this web page. All proceeds from the sale of this curriculum are donated to non-profit organizations or charities that benefit the Deaf community.

Click here to purchase the curriculum guide and have it delivered to you.


Lesson 1: Introduction to VRS

Lesson 1: Introduction to VRS

In this lesson, students will:

  • Describe the history of the VRS field.
  • Describe the impact VRS has had on the Deaf community.
  • Describe the impact VRS has had on the interpreting community.
Lesson 2: Introduction to VRS, continued

Lesson 2: Introduction to VRS, continued

In this lesson, students will:

  • Describe the various competencies required of VRS interpreters.
  • Describe how those competencies were developed for VRS interpreters.
  • Describe different approaches to improve those competencies within their scope of interpreting work.
Lesson 3: Community/VRI/VRS Interpreting

Lesson 3: Community/VRI/VRS Interpreting

In this lesson, students will:

  • Compare and contrast the role and function of the interpreter in a community setting and a VRS/VRI setting.
  • Describe the working conditions in the VRS industry.
  • Explain the cultural competencies required of VRS interpreters.
  • Discuss the preparation required for VRS interpreting work.
Lesson 4: The FCC and Legislation

Lesson 4: The FCC and Legislation

In this lesson, students will:

  • Discuss the current FCC regulations for VRS companies.
  • Explain the impacts of the FCC regulations on VRS companies.
  • Describe the history of FCC rates and rate cuts and how these changes have impacted VRS companies.
Lesson 5: VRS Center Observations

Lesson 5: VRS Center Observations

In this lesson, students will:

  • Describe the working conditions of VRS interpreters by providing specific examples.
  • Explain the cultural competencies required of VRS interpreters by providing specific examples.
  • Discuss the types of callers who use VRS.
  • Discuss the types of calls that are made through VRS interpreters.
  • Discuss the potential demands that may arise from different callers and call types.
  • Discuss the controls available to interpreters during VRS calls.
Lesson 6: Call and Caller Diversity

Lesson 6: Call and Caller Diversity

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explain a variety of call types they may encounter when working as an interpreter in the VRS setting.
  • Discuss various approaches to interpreting when encountering challenging customers and call topics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of turn taking in the VRS setting.
  • Describe strategies that can be used to facilitate turn taking in the VRS setting.
Lesson 7: Midterm and VRS Vignette Practice

Lesson 7: Midterm and VRS Vignette Practice

In this lesson, students will:

  • Formulate interpretations of a variety of call types that are common in VRS interpreting.
  • Apply skills and strategies observed during VRS center observations to their own interpretations of VRS video vignettes.
Lesson 8: IVR Systems and Canned Recordings

Lesson 8: IVR Systems and Automated Messages

In this lesson, students will:

  • Identify various types of IVR systems and canned recordings.
  • Identify strategies used to interpret IVR systems and canned recordings.
  • Practice and implement strategies for navigating VRS calls that include IVR systems.
Lesson 9: VRS Interpreters’ Perspective on VRS

Lesson 9: VRS Interpreters’ Perspective on VRS

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explain how the diverse range of VRS consumers can create demands for VRS interpreters.
  • Discuss varying call types (including register) that VRS interpreters may encounter.
  • Identify how interpreters use cultural mediation to navigate through VRS calls.
  • Discuss the potential control options interpreters use in order to meet the demands of various call and caller types.
  • Discuss a variety of customer service approaches that can create positive experiences for Deaf VRS consumers.
  • Describe stress and burnout and potential alleviation strategies.
Lesson 10: Team Interpreting in VRS

Lesson 10: Team Interpreting in VRS

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explain the role and function of team interpreting in VRS settings.
  • Discuss the characteristics of an effective interpreting team.
  • Discuss further how these characteristics impact the teaming experience in a VRS environment.
  • Describe the typical procedures used when team interpreting a VRS call.
  • Identify what situations may cause VRS interpreters to request a team interpreter.
  • Discuss the potential control options interpreters use in order to meet the demands of various call and caller types while working with a team interpreter.
  • Explain the purpose of requesting and working with a team interpreter to interpret a VRS call.
  • Discuss the impacts of team interpreting to both VRS providers and VRS users.
Lesson 11: Call Management and Customer Service

Lesson 11: Call Management and Customer Service

In this lesson, students will:

  • Define customer service.
  • Describe good and bad customer service.
  • Identify challenges relating to call management.
  • Identify strategies that can be used to meet the challenges of call management and turn taking.
  • Practice and implement customer service and call management strategies during mock VRS calls.
Lesson 12: Deaf Consumers’ Perspectives on VRS

Lesson 12: Deaf Consumers’ Perspectives on VRS

In this lesson, students will:

  • Discuss the history of VRS as it pertains to the Deaf consumer’s experience with new technology.
  • Explain how the diverse range of VRS consumers can create demands for VRS interpreters.
  • Discuss varying call types (including register) of VRS consumers.
  • Identify potential frustrations for Deaf VRS consumers when cultural barriers emerge during VRS calls.
  • Discuss a variety of customer service approaches that can create positive experiences for Deaf VRS consumers.
Lesson 13: Video Remote Interpreting Practice

Lesson 13: Video Remote Interpreting Practice

In this lesson, students will:

  • Define video remote interpreting.
  • Discuss where and how VRI is used.
  • Discuss the current perceptions of and research on VRI. Interpret a mock VRI call.
  • Describe how interpreting through VRI technology impacts the interpreting process.
  • Discuss the demands and controls of interpreting remotely.
  • Further discuss how interpreters navigated through those demands to make the mock VRI call successful.
  • Demonstrate effective soft skills while interpreting mock VRI calls.
  • Identify situations that may require a team interpreter during VRI calls.
Lesson 14: Video Remote Interpreting Practice

Lesson 14: Video Remote Interpreting Practice

In this lesson, students will:

  • Interpret a mock VRI call.
  • Describe how interpreting through VRI technology impacts the interpreting process.
  • Discuss the demands and controls of interpreting remotely.
  • Further discuss how interpreters navigated through those demands to make the mock VRI call successful.
  • Demonstrate effective soft skills while interpreting mock VRI calls.
  • Identify situations that may require a team interpreter for VRI calls.
Lesson 15: Self Care for ASL/English Interpreters

Lesson 15: Self Care for ASL/English Interpreters

In this lesson, students will:

  • Define self-care and assess the state of their own self-care.
  • Discuss injury as defined by the interpreting field and as defined by Western health care system.
  • Cite relevant research on self care.
  • Demonstrate proper standing and sitting posture.
  • Cite important biomechanical considerations.
  • Recognize high and low biomechanical risk tendencies.
  • Describe physical activity guidelines as a strategy for self care.
  • Provide suggestions for symptom management.

Full Curriculum

Download the Full Curriculum Guide

To download the entire curriculum (not including PowerPoint presentations and readings) as one complete document, click on this document and print.


Purchase the Full Curriculum Guide

This printed, bound copy of the curriculum contains all 15 lesson plans for just $24.99. Accompanying course materials will continue to be available on this web page. All proceeds from the sale of this curriculum are donated to non-profit organizations or charities that benefit the Deaf community.

Click here to purchase the curriculum guide and have it delivered to you.


Readings

Readings

This file contains the required readings from the curriculum. Each individual lesson file also contains the assigned readings for that lesson. Readings located on public websites have been included here as pdf files when possible. The VRSII is not responsible for broken external links.

Please note: Several readings for Lesson 11 are not included in order to maintain copyright compliance.

Readings reference list

Readings reference list

This file contains a list of all required readings for this course, organized by lesson, as well as URL addresses (as available).

Homework assignments and rubrics

Assignment Rubrics

This file contains rubrics for assignments in the curriculum. Individual lesson files above also contain these rubrics.

Video links

Video links

This file contains a list of all VRS video vignette links available for student practice. Links are also contained in each associated individual lesson file.