You are here

Communicating in medical settings is extremely difficult for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. Qualified medical interpreters may not be immediately available to help them. If you have a basic knowledge of American Sign Language, you can provide a valuable service helping the deaf community to interact with medical and administrative professionals in the health care system.


Format: Classroom

Hours: 12 hours / 1.2 CEUs

Where: Athens, GA

When: Coming Winter 2019

Cost: $199

American Sign Language for Medical Settings is a 12-hour introductory course. It prepares medical personnel who know basic signing to handle preliminary interactions until a qualified medical interpreter is available. Such settings can include:

  • Communicating with a patient or family member in emergency situations until a qualified medical interpreter is available
  • Gathering information for admission
  • Discussing paperwork, such as billing or insurance coverage
  • Setting appointments
  • Describing procedure preparations or follow-up activities

(Important: This is an introductory course for basic interactions only in health care settings. Qualified or certified American Sign Language medical interpreters, who have greater training, are essential for in-depth doctor-patient discussions of symptoms, diagnoses, examinations and tests).

What the course covers:

  • Guidelines for communicating with the deaf or hearing impaired in a medical setting, including: Getting attention. Manual alphabet and numbers review. Expressive and receptive signing. Finger-spelling of names and key words. Use of pictures and drawing. Use of various modes of technical communication with hearing-impaired individuals.
  • Review of HIPAA and ADA laws.
  • Signing language for body parts and organs, and general medical terminology.
  • Signing to communicate physician appointment, follow up, and procedure preparations.
  • Signing to explain paperwork normally presented in a medical setting.

Who Should Attend?

  • American Sign Language-conversant healthcare workers, medical first responders, family members, and others who want to be able to assist medical personnel to communicate with patients, family members, friends, and others who are deaf or hearing impaired in medical settings and situations. Students should have completed at least Level 2 of the ASL program or be able to pass an assessment at that level.
  • Those who may want to eventually expand their interpreting skills and proficiency so that they can become qualified medical American Sign Language interpreters.

The class is open to students 18 years of age and up. Minors ages 15 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian who must be present in the classroom with the student at all times. We highly recommend that parents or guardians take advantage of the learning opportunity by signing up with their students. Please note that a request and agreement form for registration of a minor is required to complete the application. Call (706) 542-3537 for more information.

Course Information

Course Date Info: 

Coming Winter 2019

Course Format: 
Georgia Center for Continuing Education
1197 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602
United States
Course Fee(s): 


Continuing Education Information: 

Successful graduates will earn 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the University of Georgia. Definition of CEU.