Meet the Instructor

CarolAR1Hello! My name is Carol Robbins, and I will be your sign language instructor at the Center for Sight & Hearing! I have worked at the Center for 25 years as the Support Specialist, and have taught over 800 students how to use sign language. I have been deaf for most of my life due to complications with spinal meningitis when I was only 16 months old. However, being deaf does not mean I cannot teach. I am very good at lip reading, and have been using sign language since I was 23 years old. I teach with a sense of humor, and take time to make sure you understand the various signs. I look forward to meeting you!
Class Details
Level 1 class sessions are 8 weeks in length and meet every Monday at the Center. These classes will introduce you to learning the alphabet, fingerspelling, and basic sign vocabulary which includes colors, family signs, foods, and weather. 

Level 2 class sessions are available, but at the recommendation of the instructor. These classes focus on additional sign vocabulary and intruduces you to various sign language systems and communication methods. 

Level 3 class sessions are available, but at the recommendation of the instructor. These classes focus on words that are the same, but used differently in conversation.

The available dates are:

Fall Session 2

October 9 to November 27

Eight Week course meeting every Monday

Level 1 Times
1:00-2:30pm OR 5:00-6:30pm

Level 2 Times
2:30-4:00pm OR 6:30-8:00pm

Level 3* (Meets Thursday nights October 12-December 7)
Class does not meet on Thanksgiving Day

Sign up for Fall Session 2 on Eventbrite

The class fee is $70.00 and is payable by check made out to "Center for Sight & Hearing", cash, or card, on the first day of class. Online payment is available through Eventbrite.

There is also a textbook available for purchase to supplement your learning, but it is not mandatory. You may purchase the textbook from Carol on the first day of class.

To reserve your spot in Carol's classes, please call 815-332-6800 or visit us at our main office.

We Are Your Resource

Successful communication requires participation and teamwork by all involved. Simple environmental changes such as lighting and positioning of participants make a difference in the success of the communication. Our team takes pride in being prepared. In order to assist with this preparation, we request information such as topic, specific terminology, and acronyms that may be used in the conversation. Technology is required in some situations. We can provide a demonstration to ease your concerns.

Center for Sight & Hearing Sign Language Interpreters are registered and licensed by the States of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Relaying Information Your Way

Individuals communicate using various methods or devices. Some may rely on sign language interpreters or assistive listening devices. Others may rely on braille or captioned message.

Communication Services are provided on site or remotely using video remote interpreting (VRI) in various situations; one-on-one, small and/or large groups. Different environments include medical, employment, financial, business, entertainment, legal, educational, law enforcement, social services, conferences, and others.

Sign language interpreting is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working with an Interpreter

Here are some tips that will help you communicate better when you are using a sign language interpreter:

  • Speak directly to the individual or presenter.  Never say to the interpreter, “Tell him/her…..”
  • Speak at a normal pace and in a tone appropriate to the situation.
    • The interpreter or consumer will inform you if the communication is not smooth.
  • Ensure that only one person speaks at a time.
  • Create an unobstructed line of view between the interpreter and the individual(s).
  • For any printed materials, please provide an extra copy for the interpreter.  In advance, whenever possible.
    • Allow time for reading any materials prior to additional descriptions or questions.  It is impossible to focus on the reading and watch the interpretation simultaneously.<
  • Understand that the interpreter’s responsibility to translate everything that is spoken.
    • Acknowledge that there is a processing time involved with interpretation; the process is not instantaneous, there may be extensions required.
    • Not all communication is possible word for word; some translations may require additional time to communicate the information accurately.
  • The interpreter is not trained in your field of expertise; s/he is trained and certified in professional interpretation.
  • Know that strict confidentiality is adhered to by all certified interpreters.
  • Remember that each person in unique and no interpreted situations will be alike; please allow for flexibility in continuity of services.
  • Acknowledge any questions, and allow for explanation.
    • Repeat, if necessary, to the group to ensure that all were able to hear the question being answered.



Captioning is the simultaneous process in which spoken English becomes text. This service benefits individuals who understand written English and do not use sign language to communicate.

Sign Language Classes
Basic sign language classes are offered to the community.

Braille Transcription
Braille transcription service reproduces text into braille for individuals who read braille.