If you have attended an event on the King’s campus – and even many virtually – you have probably seen Angela Core, American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter, ensuring access to a language that is not shared by the speaker(s). Core provides sign language interpretation in a diverse array of situations including, classroom lectures, meetings, research seminars, and national and international conferences.

For those organizing an event, workshop, conference or meeting, Core suggests including and/or consulting with her as the King’s ASL Interpreter early on in the planning stage.

She can also assist with advertising to the Deaf community and has targeted advertising assets and email distribution lists. Core is available to work with academic units on projects related to deafness, sign language and interpreting, or to assist in connecting with individuals or groups in the Deaf community.

Core worked as a staff interpreter at the Canadian Hearing Society (now Canadian Hearing Services) for 20 years before coming to King’s in January 2016. She had worked as a community interpreter in a variety of settings, from education and legal to employment and religious. However, the majority of her community work was in medical and mental health settings. It was while she was doing this work Core met Dr. Cathy Chovaz, Chair of Psychology at King’s.

“We were bound to cross paths at some point given she is one of only two deaf psychologists in Ontario. As my interest in psychology and deafness grew, and the Sign Language Interpreter position at King’s became available, it seemed like the perfect fit for me to come and work with Dr. Chovaz in the Psychology Department,” says Core.

Her interest in sign language was sparked while doing a placement at Silent Voice in Toronto as part of her Human Services Administration program at Sheridan College where she saw people using sign language to communicate for the first time. “Up until then, my only exposure to deafness was my great-grandma who, because she lost her hearing in her teens, was able to speak and read lips (quite adeptly I must say, considering only about 30% of the English language is visible on the lips,)” says Core.

Core began her training as one of 60-plus students taking part in the first-ever interpreter training program in Ontario at the Sheridan College Interpreter Education Program (IEP), Brampton Campus in 1986.

“Interpreting may appear straightforward – listen and sign or watch and speak, but it is far more complex than people realize,” and there are a number of cognitive tasks required to produce an effective interpretation, including comprehending and analyzing the message, transferring and expressing the source language message in the target language and monitoring the outgoing message for accuracy, all while being aware of the surroundings.

Core lists Jane Elliott, American diversity leader, and General Romeo Dallaire, former commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda, as two of her favourite interpreting experiences at King’s. “More recently, I had the honor of interpreting for Indigenous Elders Dan and Mary Lou Smoke at the Reflection Circle celebration (in 2021),” she adds.

“Deaf people often miss out on public events because organizers don’t think about hiring interpreters. King’s has demonstrated its commitment towards an inclusive environment for students, staff and faculty by employing a full-time ASL Interpreter and ensuring organizers for events, meetings, workshops and conferences can access interpreting services when needed,” Core says.