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Translation Working Groups (TWG)

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RPRC:NCDHR approaches the translation of English measures through the use of two translation groups: the American Sign Language (ASL) Translation Working Group, and the English-based Sign Language Translation Working Group (EBS-TWG). The Translation Working Groups (TWGs) are made up of bilingual (ASL and English) individuals who have extensive experience in English-ASL translation and a high degree of Deaf cultural competency. TWG members come from a variety of backgrounds, including psychology, medicine, social work, ASL/English interpretation, education and research. The TWGs are comprised of both Deaf and hearing individuals. Once items are translated and filmed, they are subject to back-translation review by independent, well-qualified individuals, as well as cognitive testing with the target audience for each measure.

Projects Supported


Deaf Weight Wise 2.0 - a healthy lifestyle program for Deaf people ages 21-40 adapted from the Deaf Weight Wise program from 2009-2014.


Sexual Health Survey


Deaf Health Survey 2013 - an adaptation of the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Deaf Weight Wise - a healthy lifestyle program adapted from Weight Wise, a program of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Prevention Research Center (PRC)

Deaf Healthcare Survey - an adaptation of CAHPS ® (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems).


Deaf Health Survey 2008 - The Deaf Health Community Committee (DHCC) and the National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) at the University of Rochester worked together to develop the Deaf Health Survey. The TWG worked for months translating written English questions from national health surveys into ASL.

Deaf Health Survey Filming




This photo was taken during filming of translated items for NCDHR's original Deaf Health Survey in 2007.  Patrick Graybill is signing Deaf Health Survey questions in ASL during studio filming at RIT.  Robyn Dean was the "sign coach" to ensure that each person's signing matched the standardized ASL video "script".

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Graybill P, Aggas J, Dean RK, Demers S, Finigan E, Pollard RQ. A community participatory approach to adapting survey items for Deaf individuals and American Sign Language. (Article) Field Methods 2010; 22(4); 429-448.

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Demers S, Schlehofer D. The process of the ASL-English Translation Working Group. Presented to the American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY; 2008 Aug 7-8.

Aggas J, Chapel S, Dean R, Demers-Postlethwait S, Finigan E, Graybill P, Gold-Brunson J, Haynes S, O’Hearn A, Pollard RQ. Adapting surveys and educational materials for Deaf audiences. (Poster)Deaf Health Poster Session, NTID Brown Bag Research Series, Rochester NY; 2007 Feb 19.

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