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We are not accepting applications for the 22-23 academic year. For information on other programs that might be of interest to you, please contact the program area. Please continue to check this website for further updates.

  • One-year certificate
  • Part-time or Full-time
  • Fall entry date
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
  • If you have a criminal record or are listed on a Child Abuse Registry or Adult Abuse Registry, you may not be able to complete this program. See Program Progression Requirements for more information.
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions


This program is designed to increase your fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) and help you to gain knowledge of Deaf culture and Deaf history so that you can effectively interact with Deaf individuals. Deaf persons can benefit from this program by learning more about their own language, culture, and history.

Improvements to the program include:

  • Manageable term course loads for students;
  • Exclusive student attendance at Red River College;
  • Inclusion of introductory ASL learning - no prerequisite courses required;
  • "Bring Your Own Laptop" will allow students to access learning on demand.

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 30 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within 6 weeks of the program start date, admission requirements are due within 5 days of applying.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit of:
      • Grade 12 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Answer this question to determine if you meet this program’s ELRs:
      Have I successfully completed 3 years of full-time high school (secondary) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction?
      • If YES, you meet English language requirements.  Apply and then submit your transcripts* for review
      • If NO, submit proof of meeting an ELRs option.  If you choose the English language assessment option, review this program's approved assessments and required levels.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but you did not graduate high school, submit your transcripts* for review. 
    • * If your transcripts are from the USA or an ELR exempt country, we will assess an International Credentials Assessment Fee to be paid before your transcripts will be reviewed.
  3. Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Grade 10 English Course
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in:
      • One credit of Grade 10 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirements 2 and 3

Program Progression Requirements
Program progression requirements are not due within 30 days of applying and should be submitted after you start classes.

  • Criminal Record and Adult and Child Abuse Checks
    • This program requires students to submit current original/official versions of one or more of the following checks:
      • Criminal Record Check (CRC)
      • Provincial Child Abuse Registry Check (CAR)
      • Adult Abuse Registry Check (AAR)
    • If you have a criminal record you may not be able to complete the program
    • If you are listed on an Abuse Registry you will not be able to complete the program
    • For details on this program's requirements, when to obtain and submit the documents, review the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form
    • These documents have expiration dates and should not be obtained prior to timeline indicated on the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents form
    • For general information on why RRC requires these checks and for links to check providers such as the Winnipeg Police, visit our Criminal Record Checks webpage
    • Submit your check documents to the RRC program contact listed on the Contact Information section of your program

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
The Official CanTEST was discontinued in 2021, and as of October 20, 2021 the RRC CanTEST is no longer offered at RRC Polytechnic. CanTEST results dated within 2 years of your application date will still be accepted to meet English language proficiency requirements. Please note the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) program requires the Official CanTEST (The RRC Institutional CanTEST will not be accepted).
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $135 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Who Should Enrol?

The ASL and Deaf Studies certificate program is suitable for anyone who requires language and cultural fluency including:

  • Individuals who intend to apply for entry  into the ASL - English Interpretation program (AEIP);
  • Family members of Deaf individuals;
  • Professionals, para-professionals, and others whose work requires interaction with Deaf employees, clients, or customers.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Other Fees
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1
1Includes an estimated $2,400 for a laptop
2Includes an estimated $500 for additional tutoring if needed, $200 for Community Events & $180 for a 5-year GoReact

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Program Outline

ASL & Deaf Studies Certificate - Total 47 credits

Term 1 (Fall)  22 CR

6 CR- ASL 1
3 CR- ASL Interactions 1
3 CR- Deaf Culture
3 CR- Deaf History
3 CR- ASL: Visual Vernacular and Media
4 CR- Writer's Craft 1

Term 2 (Winter)  25 CR

3 CR- Introduction to Interpretation
3 CR- Language Processing: English
6 CR- ASL 2
3 CR- ASL Interactions 2
3 CR- Cross-Cultural Interactions 1
3 CR- ASL Literature
4 CR- Foundational English for Interpreters

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
ASLD-1001ASL 1
More Information

This is an introductory course designed for students with little or no knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). Students will learn basic skills to communicate with Deaf people, and some of the rules of ASL grammar and syntax.

ASLD-1002ASL Interactions 1
More Information

Students will acquire the fundamental elements of ASL. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of basic expressive and receptive skills through a variety of activities.

ASLD-1003Deaf Culture
More Information

Students are introduced to the culture of Deaf people and their community. Students will examine Deaf culture and make comparisons and contrasts with other cultures. The language, values, norms, traditions and identity that make up the world view of Deaf people will be discussed along with the understanding of how ASL influences their culture.

ASLD-1004Deaf History
More Information

This course provides information on the history of Deaf people and their community, from the era of Egyptian civilization to present. The main focus of the course will center on the history of Deaf people in Canada. Discussion will surround important events and persons in the history of the Deaf community.

ASLD-1005ASL: Visual Vernacular and Media
More Information

Visual Vernacular refers to telling a story using your hands and body but without using ASL or fingerspelling. This course provides students with the opportunity to develop non-verbal skills to increase their comfort when communicating in a visual medium. Students will use techniques such as facial expressions, gestures, pantomime, and body language to communicate. Emphasis will be placed on elements of ASL that include the use of eye gaze, classifiers, role shifting, and utilization of space.

ASLD-1006Introduction to Interpretation
More Information

This course provides an overview of the field of ASL-English interpreting, including its history, social perspectives, roles, responsibilities, ethical and professional practices, along with past and current theories of Interpretation.

ASLD-1007Language Processing: English
More Information

This course focuses on English and is designed to develop competencies that are necessary for both the consecutive and simultaneous Interpreter. Through classroom lectures and lab work, students will develop competencies in text analysis and cognitive multi-tasking. Topics covered include Understanding Meaning, Abstracting, Paraphrasing, Phonemic Shadowing, Clozing, and Phrase Shadowing.

ASLD-2001ASL 2
More Information

This course is designed to increase fluency in ASL through exposure to naturally occurring language, culturally appropriate behaviours, dialogue, and practice drills. It is also designed to develop skills in visualization and spatial organization, with particular attention given to the conventional use of ASL classifiers and the use of space.

The prerequisites for this course are ASLD-1001 and ASLD-1002. ASLD-2002 is a corequisite and must be taken at the same time as ASLD-2001.
ASLD-2002ASL Interactions 2
More Information

In this course, students continue to acquire the fundamental elements of ASL. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of basic expressive and receptive skills through a variety of activities.

The prerequisites for this course are ASLD-1001 and ASLD-1002. ASLD-2001 is a corequisite and must be taken at the same time as ASLD-2002.
ASLD-2003Cross Cultural Interactions 1
More Information

Interacting in culturally diverse settings often presents challenges for uninitiated participants. This course will prepare students for cross-cultural encounters with the primary focus being between Deaf and non-Deaf people. Topics include cross-cultural theory, the enculturation process, oppression, feedback and conflict resolution.

ASLD-2005ASL Literature
More Information

This course provides an introduction of literature in ASL. Students will have the opportunity to watch ASL literature and engage in discussions about various works. The literature includes poetry, narratives, Deaf humour, Deaf folklore and other genres that have been passed from one generation to another by culturally Deaf people.

COMM-1173Communication StrategiesRPL
More Information

Everyone communicates, but are they doing it well? Communicative competence takes practice and self-awareness. By developing their communication skills, the student will improve their interpersonal ability, intercultural competence, and digital fluency to prepare the student for success in the workplace. In Communication Strategies, the student will learn through discovery and project-based activities to practice approaching situations critically and collaboratively. The strategies the student will gain in this course will be useful throughout their program and in their chosen industry.

COMM-2012Foundational English for Interpreters
More Information

This is a practical course in English that develops the student’s ability to efficiently think about, organize and express concepts. Throughout the course, students will participate in a variety of individual and group activities that provide practice in processing, organizing and conceptualizing information. In subsequent courses, these skills will be further developed and utilized during the process of interpretation.  The English source language materials provided will increase in length and complexity as the course progresses in order to better prepare students for the eventual task of consecutive and simultaneous ASL-English interpretation.


Computer/Laptop Requirements

Each ASL and Deaf Studies program student will be required to bring his/her own laptop.  Either a Mac or PC laptop is acceptable, and must include a built-in camera with video capabilities to enable audiovisual recording of signing exercises.

Please refer to https://www.rrc.ca/future-students/computer-requirements/ for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

The ASL & Deaf Studies certificate graduate will be able to:
  1. Commit to ongoing development by practicing in ASL and English while networking and collaborating with the community;
  2. Maintain a balanced quality of life, trust and integrity by developing intrapersonal and interpersonal skills;
  3. Act as an ally with Deaf Communities through ongoing involvement and reciprocity to support community goals, build trust and bridge cultures;
  4. Perform own understanding of values from the perspective of the Deaf Community's values on Deaf literature;
  5. Respect Deaf culture, beliefs, values, attitudes, language, traditions and norms;
  6. Discuss the historical context of Deaf Culture, beliefs, values, attitudes, language, traditions and norms;
  7. Describe aspects, responsibilities and challenges of the roles of the ASL - English Interpreter.

Recent Changes

The ASL and Deaf Studies certificate program (ADSP) has replaced the former Deaf Studies Certificate which was part of the joint Red River College and University of Manitoba diploma/degree framework.  

The new ASL and Deaf Studies program began at RRC in Fall 2019. Applicants no longer need ASL 101-103 prerequisite courses to apply. Students will be required to bring their own laptops (PC or Mac).  

The ASL and Deaf Studies certificate is a requisite to the RRC ASL - English Interpretation diploma.

For more information, please contact Program Coordinator, Rick Zimmer, at rzimmer@rrc.ca.  

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit www.rrc.ca/rpl.

Contact Information

For general information about this program or how to apply, contact Enrolment Services at 204-632-2163.

For detailed program information, please contact: 

Kelsey Shay Regnier
Program Coordinator
Red River College
Room A106A - 2055 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3H 0J9
E-mail: kshay@rrc.ca

Admitted students may submit their criminal record and abuse registry check documents by mail to the above individual.

College Support Services

Red River College Polytechnic is committed to student success and provides valuable support services to assist in helping students make the most of their time at RRC Polytech.

Visit www.rrc.ca/supports for more information.

Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.