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March 10, 2003

Riverland Community College hires full-time sign language interpreter.

From: KIMT, IA - 10 Mar 2003

Posted By Justin Foss
March 10, 2003

One Southern Minnesota college has a new resource to bridge a major language gap.

Rebecca Baldwin-Rand is the new sign language interpreter at Riverland community college.

Baldwin-Rand helps deaf students better understand their professors, andsometimes that means she has her own homework to do.

The new sign language interpreter,Rebecca Baldwin-Rand, tells KIMT Newschannel Three, "One class that has been interpreted is the humanities class, which deals with the Greek mythology and classics, you have to kind of re-read that because it wouldn't be on the tip of my tongue to know how to spell all the characters in the Iliad or Odyssey."

But understanding the professor, or the material isn't always the most important thing.

Sometimes that means she has to sign conversations between students, even the one's underneath their breath.

She says, "It's very important for the student to be aware that it's not just the lecture the teacher is giving, but a student in the back row just said oh this class stinks, or something that would affect the whole climate of the class."

Deaf students aren't the only people who benefit from having interpreters in the classroom, teachers do too.

Richard Larson has a deaf student in his interpersonal communications class.

Riverland Community College speech teacher, Richard Larson, tells KIMT Newschannel Three, "Without the interpreter, it would be difficult for me to teach class, to teach information to the student."

Larson says Baldwin-Rand is almost like an extension, she helps the class understand things a little better.

He says sometimes that understanding is more about diversity than about the course material.

Baldwin-Rand is the first sign language interpreter at Riverland Community College.

© 2003 Media General