Washington, DC [July 18, 2011] Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) announced today that it has committed to a one-year agreement to provide interpreting services for the Library of Congress.

The agreement with Office of Opportunity, Inclusiveness and Compliance (OIC) at the Library of Congress requires GIS to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting, computer aided real-time translation (CART), video remote interpreting (VRI), and other communication access services and equipment to the Library of Congress staff, 17 of whom are deaf. The agreement also provides for an additional four one-year options.

For more than 20 years, GIS has provided students, faculty, and staff at Gallaudet University, the world’s only accredited liberal arts university for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, with quality interpreting services. In recent years, GIS has expanded its service offering to the Federal government and the Washington, D.C., community.

“These professional interpreters have the depth and breadth of experience, linguistic competency, interpreting skill, and sensitivity in addressing communication needs in a variety of circumstances such as workplace, academic, legal and medical settings,” said Yoshiko ‘Koko’ Chino, GIS Director.

All GIS interpreters working at the Library of Congress are nationally certified with credentials from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Interpreters will also have significant experience in signed language interpreting in highly technical, academic, and research settings. “Because of Gallaudet’s worldwide reputation as the epicenter of deaf culture and American Sign Language, we attract the highest caliber professional interpreters that cannot be matched anywhere else. It’s a privilege to offer this expertise to serve those who help serve the public in the search for knowledge,” continued Chino.

“The mission of the OIC is to cultivate a talented, diverse community of innovators devoted to public service and establish an open environment where a diverse workforce is supported and celebrated” said OIC Director Naomi Earp. “Providing communication access is one way the Library of Congress demonstrates the value of diversity in the workplace.”

“The level of commitment by the Library of Congress to ensuring equal access and seamless communication among its staff, regardless of hearing ability, serves as an example to both the private and public sectors on the level of commitment that’s needed to ensure diversity in the workplace,” said Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz. “It’s my hope that this serves as a model for other government and public service agencies, as well as private employers, as they identify ways to advance their efforts at providing equal employment opportunities to all Americans.”

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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