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Module Dates: March 22-April 23, 2021

Are you interested in doing ASL interpreting work in addiction and recovery settings, but want more foundation before you start? Have you been in this setting but are ready to deepen your knowledge to be more effective in the work? This module was designed with contributions from Keven Poore, Dr. Deb Guthmann, and Arlyn Anderson, and covers a wide range of topics to help you start developing best practices in this area.

This module will cover:

  • Language considerations, including common vocabulary and interpreting strategies.
  • Theories of addiction and recovery to help you frame the goals of each setting.
  • Information about the recovery experience of addicts who are Deaf.
  • An overview of the most common addiction and recovery settings that may be encountered.
  • Healthy self-care practices to help us do behavioral health work.
  • Suggestions for further training.

Learning happens through video lectures, discussion boards, and knowledge check-ins (activities).
Our consumers, both hearing and Deaf, deserve interpreters who are qualified in this work so that consumers have their best chance for recovery. We look forward to seeing you in the module!

Module activities include:

  • Studying content in ASL and written English
  • Responding to topics in ASL and/or written English
  • Self-reflection
  • Analysis of ASL translation work
  • Quizzes
  • Flash card practice

Mini-lectures throughout the modules are presented in ASL.

Time commitment

This module will require about 20 hours of work. There are no set meeting times, but topics are opened weekly to give participants richer discussion and learning opportunities. All work must be completed by 11:59pm on April 23. No extensions will be offered. See Course Outline below for an overview of the course.

Technology requirements

Modules are offered through Canvas online learning management system.

  • You must have high-speed internet access and a tablet or computer that supports:
  • Ability to work online and type or video record discussion posts.
  • Ability to record videos.
  • Ability to upload videos to YouTube for sharing with others in Canvas.
  • Ability to access streamed video content.

Registration requirements

To register, participants must:

  • Work in the United States or U.S. territories
  • Hold RID, NAD, or BEI certification
  • Have a minimum of 3 years interpreting experience

Note: No exceptions to the registration requirements can be made due to our agreement with RSA. Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is the federal department that funds our project and it is in our agreement that the CATIE Center Behavioral Health Interpreting modules be limited to those with national certification. National certification is defined as RID, BEI, and NAD. 

Registration Fee: $40
Registration is closed
How to access Introduction to Addiction and Recovery Interpreting

Registered participants will receive an email invitation to join the course from Instructure Canvas on March 22.

TIP: Add notifications@instructure.com to your contacts, so your invitation doesn’t end up in your spam folder.

Follow the prompts to join the course. It’s easy! (Just remember to write down your password!)

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations must be in writing to CATIE Center.

Refunds will be issued for cancellations requested within seven days of registration, as long as course content has not been accessed. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days from date of registration.

Registrations are not transferable, either to another course or another participant.


RID CMP and ACET logo St. Catherine University is a RID-approved sponsor for continuing education units. Participants who complete all required assignments may earn 2.0 CEUs.

CEUs will be posted to transcripts by May 14. Please hold any questions about CEUs and your transcript until after May 14.


Course Facilitator

Paula MacDonald, MS, NIC, QMHI

Paula holds a certificate in Deaf Studies, an Associate of Applied Science in English/ASL Interpreting and Transliteration, a Bachelor of Arts in Multicultural Interpreting, and a Master of Science in Interpreting Pedagogy. She completed her teaching practicum at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria, and has taught numerous interpreting classes online.

Course Outline


Language of Addiction and Recovery

  • Why learn about language?
  • Vocabulary of Intoxicants

What is Addiction?

  • Why define addiction?
  • Addiction and Stigma
  • Nature of Addiction
  • Nurture of Addiction
  • Definitions of Addiction
  • Theories of Addiction and Recovery
    • Cycle of Addiction
    • Stages of Change

Interpreter Considerations

  • Confidentiality boundaries and dual relationships
  • English to ASL Interpreting Strategies
  • ASL to English Interpreting Strategies
  • CDIs in Addiction and Recovery Settings

Addiction and Recovery Work is Mental Health

  • Addiction and Recovery work is mental health
  • Assessments and Intake
  • Self-Care

Exploring Various Addiction and Recovery Settings

  • Introduction to Recovery Settings
  • Detox
  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Harm Reduction
  • Half-way or Sober House
  • Self-help groups

12 Step Groups

  • Exploring 12-step groups
  • 12 Step Texts

Course Evaluation and Post-Assessment

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