News

TSC volunteers provide sign language course for Brownsville PD
Texas Southmost College Sign Language Interpreter Frank Slovak gives sign language instruction to a group of Brownsville Police Officers and TSC Security Officers in June.Texas Southmost College Sign Language Interpreter Frank Slovak gives sign language instruction to a group of Brownsville Police Officers and TSC Security Officers in June.

Eleven Brownsville police and two TSC security officers completed a five-week American Sign Language (ASL) training course on June 29, 2016, that was provided as a free service by Texas Southmost College (TSC).

The ASL training course was offered to assist Brownsville police and TSC security officers handle situations where they might encounter a sign-language user and need to communicate with them.

"The officers learned over 80 words and were taught how to compose brief, functional questions," TSC Sign Language Interpreter Carol Sandoval said. "It was a very rewarding experience for the Disability Services staff that was involved. This seminar was a great way to provide a community service and make available a learning opportunity for the Brownsville Police Department that will benefit our community."

TSC Disability Services staff members Frank Slovak, Angelica Ramos and Carol Sandoval volunteered their time to provide the trainin for the 13 officers every Wednesday afternoon in June.

As part of the training, the officers participated in various scenarios where they were required to communicate in sign language. The scenarios included routine traffic stops, public intoxication and shop lifting, among others.
"It was an outstanding experience," Brownsville Police Officer Laura González said. "We were able to learn some basic sign language skills and although we (BPD) are not fluent, the training provided by TSC will help us assist those in our community that are deaf."

"I have been on calls where citizens don't speak English, but we can get translators rather quickly to communicate with them," she added. "With the deaf community, we don't have that. And it can be frustrating for them, and us. This course will help us use some basic sign language to start the communication process before a certified translator arrives on the scene to assist us."

González graduated from TSC's Police Academy in spring 2014.

For more information about TSC's Disability Services, call (956) 295-3587 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Texas Southmost College
Originally established in 1926, Texas Southmost College currently offers the first two years toward a bachelor's degree, along with career and technical education leading to certificates and associate degrees, college preparatory studies to prepare students for college-level work, workforce training, and continuing education. Recently selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, TSC offers 53 programs of study leading to an associate degree or certificate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July 2016 07:49