Sorenson Communications Interpretations Award

DECEMBER 6, 2011

Sorenson Communications® congratulates Tennessee Temple University, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee,  (now at Piedmont International University in Winston Salem NC) on becoming the 2011 recipient of the Sorenson VRS® (SRVS®) Interpreter Education Program (IEP) Award of Excellence. Sorenson Communications is the nation's leading provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use sign language to communicate. This annual award includes a financial contribution and is given to IEP programs that are making meaningful contributions by expanding curriculum and responding to the ever-increasing demand for interpreters.

As the largest employer of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in the United States and Canada, Sorenson Communications created the award to recognize IEP programs that are improving the quality of professional interpreting and advancing interpreter education to benefit the deaf community.

Dr. Lisa Godfrey, former Tennessee Temple University IEP Coordinator, says she submitted Tennessee Temple University’s entry for the SVRS IEP Award because she was proud of the students, the credentials they were able to achieve and the employment they were able to secure. Godfrey says, “I was confident that our program graduated students who were ready to serve as interpreter practitioners, competent to provide quality services across a wide range of settings”. Dr. Godfrey came to TTU in 1997 as the Coordinator of the Sign Language Interpreting Department. She resigned that position in May of 2010 and currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the department.

The Tennessee Temple University IEP program is one of fewer than 35 four-year interpreting training programs in the nation. Temple is also one of six or seven programs that are religiously affiliated. That allows the university to fill a unique niche in the field, both academically and spiritually.

Tennessee Temple is also one of two or three four-year programs that can be earned in a distance format. The school offers a hybrid program, where the lecture/content based courses such as Deaf Culture or ASL Linguistics can be taken online and the skills based courses such as ASL classes and Interpreting classes can be taken in a series of two summer residential intensives.

The school is a small institution where class size is low and an abundance of one-on-one attention is given. Tennessee Temple’s IEP program is most notable for an outstanding record for passing of the written NIC test and state and EIPA performance assessments. The program also has excellent job placements, with almost 100 % of students finding work in the interpreting field within four months of graduation.

Sorenson Communications is committed to increasing the overall quality of interpreting in the United States and Canada. This is evidenced by the ongoing educational and professional development classes Sorenson provides for its interpreter employees. In 2009, Sorenson provided more than 200,000 CEUs (continuing education units) to Sorenson and community interpreters.

About Sorenson Communications
Sorenson Communications® ( is a provider of industry-leading communications services and products for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The company's offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the new Sorenson ntouch® VP videophone, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; Sorenson IP Relay® (SIPRelay), a text-to-speech relay service; ntouch® PC, software that connects users to SVRS by using a PC and webcam; and ntouch® Mobile, an application empowering SVRS communication via a mobile device.