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ASL Interpretation: Cambridge, MA

Customized Employment Project

To better serve customers with special communication needs or who are deaf and hard of hearing, The Career Source, a One-Stop Career Center in Cambridge, MA, collaborated with the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) Department of Interpreting Services to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services to One-Stop customers. Once a month, the One-Stop offers a core workshop with ASL interpretation. This initiative was funded through a Customized Employment Grant (CEG) from the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor.

The idea of providing ASL interpreting services to One-Stop customers with special communication needs evolved through discussions between One-Stop staff and MCDHH staff. An MCDHH staff person was on the advisory council/consumer advisory group for One-Stops in Massachusetts and was instrumental in bringing this idea to fruition.

Workshops with ASL interpretation have been offered once a month at the One-Stop. Workshops covered the full range of employment-related topics including networking skills, interview techniques, resume writing, job search skills, and a speaker series.

Once ASL interpretation was arranged, One-Stop staff sent this information to other local One-Stop Career Centers and their customers. To outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing community, One-Stop staff collaborated with agencies and organizations including MCDHH, the Institute for Community Inclusion, and D.E.A.F. Inc.

As of November 2003, The Career Source had held five workshops where ASL interpreters were available; a total of 25 people attended these workshops.

For more information concerning this practice, please contact:

Robert Hebert, Director, The Career Source, Cambridge, MA, rhebert@detma.org.

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