Translation Working Group (TWG)

TWG icon

RPRC:NCDHR approaches the translation of English measures through the use of both ASL and English-based Signing Working groups, collectively labeled the Translation Working Group. The Translation Workgroup (TWG) is 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 TWG is 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.

Current Members

ASL Translation Group

Matt Disch Robart Pollard Julia Rood
Matthew Disch Bob Pollard Julia Rood

English-based Sign Translation Group

Donna Gustina Vincent Samar Patrick Sullivan
Donna Gustina Vincent Samar Patrick Sullivan

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Projects Supported


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 FilmingDeaf Health Survey Filming

In the photos above is Patrick Graybill signing Deaf Health Survey questions in ASL during studio filming at RIT. Robyn Dean, Julianna Aggas, and Susan Demers Postlethwait act as "coaches" in the background to ensure that each person's signing matches 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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Job Opportunity!

NCDHR is seeking another Research Coordinator to join our team. Please see our brief write-up below, which we will be sharing widely this week. The complete job description can be found here (click "all other openings" then sesarch "NCDHR" or "193109").

NCDHR Job Opportunity 2016

NCDHR graphic identity